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    Date submitted
  • 12-Nov-2016

NextBillion.org

Abstract

1 in 5 people in the world have a disability. At 1.27 billion people, people with disabilities make up the world’s largest minority group faced with unequal opportunities in today’s society.

NextBillion.org is building the largest global community for people with invisible and visible disabilities. By using machine learning to understand their stories and goals, we provide access to personalized mentorships, resources and career opportunities. Businesses work with our community to improve diversity and make their products truly accessible.

We are a team with disabilities who’ve worked for Google, Microsoft, IBM, NASA, and the UN. We have also helped reshape inclusion policies for universities in India & Canada.

With mentees from 32 countries so far, our vision is to build an inclusive society by eliminating the stigma around disabilities.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Our total addressable market across the USA and Canada is 60.5M people with disabilities (and 1.27 billion people with disabilities, as a global market). We plan on capturing 1.59% which is equal to 1,000,000 people over the next 5 years. Source: WHO Report on Disabilities, US Census, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, StatsCan.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

People with Disabilities constitute the world's largest minority with a total of 1.27 billion people. They are often consumed with their conditions and face multiple barriers in terms of opportunities and reaching their potential because of these barriers. It is also difficult for companies to directly connect with them, and utilize this vast untapped human potential. By taking a progressive approach, we believe that we can provide a platform for mentorship and opportunities for people with disabilities and bridge the gap to enable organizations and corporations to diversify and be truly inclusive.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Attributes to make this successful: - We're a tech-first company and are building technology-based solutions that can scale. - Our team has industry experience at Google, Apple, Microsoft, NASA, etc. This will enable us to leverage our network and experience as we build the platform. We're unique because we focus on the story behind each individual (person with disability) on our platform and the goals that they strive to achieve, and match mentors to mentees based on shared stories. With a background in technology and social work, we're building an end-to-end online, global mentorship platform and a community around disabilities.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

We launched a beta program with 30 mentorship pairs to test our assumptions around community and mentorship. Our founding team is passionate, young and experienced. We have first-hand experience with disabilities and chronic illnesses such as avascular necrosis, cancer, visual impairment (complete blindness), hearing impairment, muscular dystrophy and rheumatoid arthritis; and exceptional experience working with companies such as Microsoft, Google, NASA and IBM. We're dedicated to the cause that we are working towards – an inclusive society with opportunities for people with disabilities – because our team attributes our personal successes to the mentors who inspired us to reach our potential. Competitors: Lime Connect (Fellowship Program), United States Business Leadership Network (Career Link Mentoring Program), and the DO-IT Mentoring Program, which provide resources to people with disabilities. They all have a large network of businesses, however, do not have open long-term programs, ongoing resources or personalized programs and thus have low retention rates.