25 January, 2019 – SYDNEY, Australia – Today, Microsoft Australia announced it is partnering with Remarkable, a division of Cerebral Palsy Alliance, whose mission is to harness the power of technological innovation for driving inclusion of people with disabilities. Through the partnership, Microsoft will sponsor two startups who are focused on creating AI solutions that aim to improve the lives of Australians with a disability.
The two startups will join Remarkable’s 16-week accelerator program which equips early-stage companies with seed funding, as well as the knowledge, skills and tools needed to become commercially viable businesses that have a positive social impact. In the program, the selected companies are granted $35k seed funding, mentoring, weekly masterclasses, pitch coaching, workspace at the Sydney Startup Hub and access to corporate and investor networks.
“We’ve partnered with Remarkable because their mission of harnessing technology to build physical, social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities aligns perfectly with Microsoft. About one in five Australians has a disability and we truly believe AI can empower people with disabilities by providing tools that support independence and productivity,” said David Masters, Corporate Relations Director, Microsoft Australia.
“This partnership with Remarkable is the latest initiative from Microsoft supporting organisations that are making technology more accessible for the four million Australians who live with disabilities every day.”
Since March 2016, Remarkable has assisted in the development of 67 prototypes, involved 62 people with disabilities in their programs and intensively supported 50+ founders from 20 startups. Remarkable works with startups using technology to make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities in seven areas: social inclusion, living inclusion, independence, personal wellbeing, physical wellbeing, learning and growth and employment or community contribution.
“We’re very excited to have Microsoft onboard given they are an industry leader in AI technologies and will be an invaluable partner for startups focusing on AI,” said Peter Horsley, founder of Remarkable. “With their support, we’re now able to include companies specifically focused on AI in the next cohort, which we believe has so much promise in empowering Australians with disabilities.”
Applications are currently being accepted for the next cohort, where eight companies will be selected for the program. The deadline for applications is Thursday, 31 January, 2019. Finalists will be notified 24 – 26 February, with the four month program running 25 March – 25 July, 2019. For additional information on criteria and to apply visit: https://remarkable.org.au/accelerator/
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.
Remarkable is Australia’s first accelerator for startups focused on using technology to create life changing solutions for people with disability. Remarkable is a division of Cerebral Palsy Alliance and is supported by Microsoft, icare foundation, Telstra Foundation and Macquarie.
About Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Cerebral Palsy Alliance has been providing world-class services for individuals and families living with a broad range of disabilities for over 70 years. We help babies, children, teenagers and adults living with developmental delay, cerebral palsy and other disabilities lead the most comfortable, independent and inclusive lives possible. Our organisation was developed by a group of parents of children with cerebral palsy and now operates from 55 sites throughout metropolitan, regional and rural NSW and the ACT. https://www.cerebralpalsy.org.au/