The AT Impact Fund is a grant-funded investment vehicle and ‘Scale Studio’, which offers venture building support. We help innovators and entrepreneurs to get Assistive Technology (AT) solutions for people on a path to scale and are committed to improving the lives of people living with disabilities in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). The Fund is targeting innovation across the value chain of AT, which means we are interested in startups/SMEs that already or could provide solutions to the production, distribution and financing of AT, as well as AT provision itself.
AT Impact Fund has been launched out of the UK Aid funded AT2030 programme led by the Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub. It is operationalised as a collaboration between GDI Hub and Brink, and Catalyst Fund as venture advisor, providing deep expertise in AT, innovation and venture building in Africa respectively.
The Fund will provide grant capital plus significant venture building support to businesses that are ‘ready to test a business model for scale’ in an LMIC in Africa. This could mean a business where product market fit has been demonstrated in an existing LMIC market(s); or it could also mean that the business has a proven product and business model outside of Africa but the proposal is to pilot, test and validate a business model to reach populations in LMICs. The Fund will also provide smaller ticket grants sizes plus venture building support to early stage AT businesses, where there is evidence of market traction and management team appetite and capacity to scale.
The AT Impact Fund is part of AT2030, a programme funded by UK Aid and led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub. AT2030 will test ‘what works’ to improve access to AT and will invest £20m to support solutions to scale. With a focus on innovative products, new service models, and global capacity support, the programme will reach 9 million people directly and 6 million more indirectly to enable a lifetime of potential through life-changing assistive technology. More information at AT2030.org
To apply for grant capital and Scale Studio venture support your company must offer at least one of the following:
- An Assistive Technology (AT) solution that directly addresses a disability;
- A technology-enabled assessment, screening and/or service provision tool for people with a disability;
- A company that is playing a role in the AT value chain such as digital production methods, tech-enabled distribution or financing solutions;
- A company that is not yet playing a role in the AT value chain but that could be, such as digital production methods, tech-enabled distribution or financing solutions.
To qualify for larger grants, you must already have a product in the market, well-defined product features, a growing customer base, and have established KPIs. You intend to scale in LMICs (either within an existing geography or into new geographies), and you are exploring business models and partnerships to make your vision a reality.
To qualify for smaller grants, we expect you to have reached the MVP stage. You will have built a basic version of the product, you have clearly defined and validated the problem and value proposition, and you have some paying customers.You are also already operating in an LMIC.