According to Imserso data (from the end of 2022), 285,684 people with a recognized intellectual disability live in Spain. These people deal with barriers to inclusion in society daily.
Although it is not very common to think about digital solutions to assist people with intellectual disabilities, the reality is that entrepreneurship and technology have the potential to help this population. Spain’s Fundación A LA PAR, one of the foremost non-profits working with people with intellectual disabilities, and IMPACT Accelerator, the venture builder from ISDI Digital Business School, have announced a challenge to promote and support technology-based startups focused on helping people with intellectual disabilities.
The challenge, called “Fundación A LA PAR Startups Challenge,” is an opportunity for innovative projects from Spain and beyond that focus on helping people with intellectual disabilities to receive support and funding for their projects. Projects that focus on social inclusion, improving autonomy for folks with intellectual disabilities and enhancing their training and learning capabilities are all welcome to apply.
The challenge is supported by the ‘Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Fund’ (Fondo de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia), managed by Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 (financed by the European Union – NextGenerationEU funds).
“This Challenge represents a great opportunity to continue to make the Third Sector and people with intellectual disabilities present in the challenge of digitalization,” said Almudena Martorell, President of Fundación A LA PAR. “And as part of our organization’s digital transformation, we are proud to support the next generation of digital entrepreneurs helping to make the world a better place for people with intellectual disabilities.”
According to the official press release, initiatives that meet the following verticals will be considered for this call:
Technologies for Autonomy: Technological initiatives or solutions that enhance the skills and therefore the autonomy of people with intellectual disabilities.
Innovation in Inclusive training: Product solutions or technological services that facilitate learning and training environments for people with intellectual disabilities.
Deadline to apply
Do you have a project matching with this challenge? The deadline to apply is January 31, 2024 (you can register your project at this link). Then, on February 15, the 10 selected finalists will be announced, and the best solutions will be invited to present their proposals at an event organized at the IMPACT Accelerator headquarters in Madrid on February 27.
The challenge will end with selecting a winning startup, which will receive a cash prize of €5,000 to develop its solution or the possibility of conducting a pilot with Fundación A LA PAR, and will be provided with a free acceleration program from IMPACT Accelerator.
“It has been an honor to partner with Fundación A LA PAR on such an important initiative. We are proud to support entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to help solve some of the most pressing problems facing our society,” said Jesus Tapia, Director of IMPACT Accelerator.