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SF Showcases: Komodo OpenLab

Here at SocialFinance.ca, nothing excites us more than the opportunity to share stories about the great work happening in Canadian social finance! This goes double when the work is being done by our partners. A few months ago Trish Nixon introduced the 2nd cohort of Impact8, Ontario’s first social venture accelerator. Now with Impact8′s Demo Day just around the corner, we’re profiling this year’s Impact8 ventures. This evening we’re chatting with Mauricio Meza, of Komodo OpenLab. The aim, as always, is to shine a light on folks in the field by lobbing a few questions their way: What problems are they tackling? What have they found to be best practices? Can this model be brought to scale and/or replicated? As always, we want your input on this and future profiles. Who would you like to know more about? What kind of stories do we need to tell more often? Whose lessons learned would you like to hear? Tweet us, Facebook us, or email us!

Thanks for chatting with us! To start us off, could you please tell us what Komodo OpenLab does in a tweet (140 characters or less)?

Komodo OpenLab enables users with mobility impairments to take advantage of the advanced features of smartphones and tablets.

Expanding from that answer, what is the problem that Komodo OpenLab was conceived in order to address? What do you feel is unique about your approach to solving this problem?

Technology for people with disabilities is usually expensive, cumbersome and segregating as it keeps people away from mainstream technology, we want users with disabilities to be able to take advantage of the same technology that their able-bodied peers use. Our goal is to promote a more sustainable development of inclusive, rather than segregated products and services for the population that carries mobility impairments.

What factors have been important for getting you to where you are today and what will you need to build on to take your venture to the next level?

We have received incredible support from many organizations (MaRS, Ryerson University, OCAD University and OCE) and many community members that have contributed time and effort to build our products. We are currently focused on making our technology known to all those users that are out in the community and are not aware these life-changing tools exists. We need to create an network to reach all those users and allow them to benefit from mobile technologies.

Blue sky time! Where is your venture in 5 years? Where’s the marketplace? How big a dent have you made in the problem you’re tackling?

We want to be the mobile accessibility leader, providing access to all mobile platforms for individuals with disabilities.


Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for more profiles of the amazing cohort of Impact8 social ventures!

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