Announcing Israel’s First Accelerator Program Dedicated to Addressing People with Disabilities

PT A3IPresenTense Israel (PT), Beit Issie Shapiro and The Ruderman Family Foundation have launched A3i – Accelerating Inclusion In Israel – and are calling for change-makers with ideas to fundamentally improve the quality of life for people with disabilities to apply for the program.

A3i is a groundbreaking program, as it is the first accelerator focused on solutions that address the needs of people with disabilities. The PresenTense community-based accelerator model has been run 36 times and currently operates in 16 cities. The program combines intense training, mentorship, one-on-one consulting, and community engagement, to help entrepreneurs catalyze their ideas into fully-fledged ventures.

“Innovation has the capacity to transform lives,” said Guy Spigelman, CEO of PresenTense Israel. “If you have a dream to set up a new venture to impact the lives of people with disabilities, be it a new app or a socially inclusive education initiative, you can make it a reality at A3i.”

For PresenTense, this partnership is part of PT Israel’s new strategy of building the “Ground Up Nation” – where they help facilitate innovation and entrepreneurial activity across Israel’s civil society.

A 15-person steering committee has been established to guide the program and a further 30 volunteer coaches and mentors are being recruited to support the ventures. At the end of the program, the fifteen ventures will be presented to the public.

The Ruderman Family Foundation, which advocates for and advances the inclusion of people with disabilities, is a partner in this venture. “The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that A3i will allow all of us to experiment, learn and broaden our capacity to become an inclusive society,” said Shira Ruderman, Israel Director of the Ruderman Family Foundation “Through this partnership and the innovative projects we hope will result from it, developers can turn their ideas into reality and benefit people with disabilities.”

Entrepreneurs can apply for the 5-month, Ra’anana based, program by December 28, 2013 online at Applicants must present a venture that addresses the needs of people with disabilities. Ventures may be hi-tech, social businesses or social ventures, and may be at the early stage or pre-seed idea stage of development. An information evening will be held on the December 19, 2013 at 7 pm at Bet Issie Shapiro in Ra’anana.