SP 5: AT Impact Fund
The AT Impact Fund was established to better enable frontier technology solutions to reach people with disabilities in Africa, and to test business models that are most likely to succeed.
Assistive Technology Impact Fund is operationalised as a collaboration between GDI Hub, Brink, and Catalyst Fund as venture partner, providing deep expertise in AT, innovation and venture-building in Africa respectively.
1 billion people globally have a disability, yet 90% of them lack access to affordable AT innovations which could drastically improve their quality of life. This failure is not due to a lack of products, the AT sector is steeped in innovative products that are proven to meet the needs of those with disabilities - and that is why the Assistive Technology Impact Fund (ATIF) exists.
The ATIF will facilitate the growth of the AT sector by combining grant capital with expert-led venture-building support to help AT innovators launch and scale solutions that are designed to reach populations in Africa. We are committed to supporting AT solutions that provide a significant and life-changing improvement to people with disabilities.
The Assistive Tech Impact Fund (ATIF) is changing the prospects of innovators in this space, providing up to £200k of grant funding alongside expert-led venture-building support to facilitate the growth of the AT sector in Africa.
What we do
1. Grow AT companies in Africa
We work closely with AT innovators and together develop a path to sustainable scale, in Africa. Our team of venture builders and AT specialists works with companies on everything from business model development, to product design and distribution, to financing, marketing, and more.
2. Facilitate the growth of the ecosystem
In order for AT companies to scale sustainably, we must contribute towards a thriving AT ecosystem. We’ll be investing not only in companies themselves but also in the development of the AT ecosystem by crowding in investors, developing partnerships, and sharing insights from our work.
3. Build and share evidence
Our team includes world-leading academics from UCL in the AT space. We will generate new insights and evidence on how to scale innovation that is designed to reach populations in Africa and will share our blueprint to help AT companies to thrive in emerging markets.
4. Provide grant funding
We offer grant funding to companies in our portfolio to bridge any gaps as they work toward scale. Our funding is provided by UK aid, through the AT2030 programme.
Making the direct-to-consumer model work for AT [New blog series: AT, Entrepreneurship & Finance - from Assistive Tech Impact Fund]Dr Rhys WilliamsJuly 6, 2022
For people with disabilities to have access to high-quality assistive technology, we need a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that can bring innovative Assistive Technology (AT) to market. For every business to become financially sustainable, a scalable customer base is essential. Many AT companies have focussed on B2B, or B2G customers, however slow and involved sales processes and constrained government budgets with competing interests are pushing many companies to explore direct to consumer (DTC) business models.
hearX, Caitlin Frisby, Tersia de Kock, De Wet SwanepoelFeb. 4, 2022Kenya
A brilliant new report by hearX published in ENT UK Global Health showcasing innovative digital technologies and service solutions to meet the unmet need of hearing loss.
Miracle FeetDec. 2, 2021Nigeria, Liberia
The Assistive Technology Impact Fund (ATIF), part of the AT2030 programme, has committed investment to support the company MiracleFeet, who provide clubfoot treatment to children in LMICs. To better understand and evidence the impact of MiracleFeet's work for children living with clubfoot, ATIF commissioned 60 Decibels to conduct research using specifically designed tools that could measure the impact of assistive technology. The results are shared in this insightful report, including findings from 200 parents and guardians of Nigerian and Liberian children who have undergone treatment using the MiracleFeet brace.
Global Disability Innovation Hub, Brink, Catalyst FundDec. 1, 2021
This paper presents key insights from our work with the first cohort of AT ventures who are pushing the boundaries of AT innovation and disrupting the archaic models of AT production and supply in the African market. The Assistive Tech Impact Fund (ATIF), provides grant funding as well as bespoke business, research, and technical support to pioneering Assistive Tech innovators working towards increasing AT access to millions of AT users across Africa.
Global Disability Innovation HubNov. 15, 2021Africa
We're delighted to announce a special Disability Innovation Live webinar series showcasing current AT pioneers and exploring the future role of assistive technology (AT) in the impact investing landscape. The series will be a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of our AT Impact Fund, hearing from the innovators, experts and investors on entering new markets, exploring never-used-before financing models and developing pioneering business models.