What we learned at the first-ever Remarkable Tech Summit

What we learned at the first-ever Remarkable Tech Summit
Posted on Fri 18 Nov 2022

From November 2-4, 2022, Remarkable - the startup accelerator made possible by Cerebal Palsy Alliance - welcomed over 90 guests to the first-ever Remarkable Tech Summit in San Francisco. 

This event, produced in partnership with Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, gathered together innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, disability advocates, partners and allies for a truly Remarkable experience. 

This is an amended version of a summary blog published on the Remarkable website - read the original here.

This two-day summit was jam-packed with panels, guest speakers and group discussions designed to connect, celebrate and grow the emerging Disability Tech ecosystem. The goal of the Summit was to amplify the voices of disabled innovators, create connections, explore challenges, set commitments, and actively support one another to drive change. It was incredible to see the joint commitment from our guests to these goals, which we are proud to say we reached by the end of our two days together. 

“Humans are the most important technology we can invest in…when we talk about investing in tech, we’re investing in humanity.” -

Minnie Baragwanath - Chief Possibility Officer, Global Center of Possibility

In addition to a stellar lineup of speakers, we were also thrilled to be able to celebrate some exciting announcements including:

  • The Summit included a startup pitch competition, which was an opportunity for selected founders to pitch their idea. We were excited to announce the winner of the judges grand prize of one prestigious shark hat to Parag Gad, CEO and Co-Founder of SpineX.
  • We launched applications for our 2023 Remarkable Accelerator (#RA23) global program, which will have programs run from Australia and the US! 
  • Our friend, actor and advocate RJ Mitte, joined us to celebrate the Remarkable Tech Summit and also shared a message about our accelerator.
  • Remarkable Founder Pete Horsley presented plans for the 2023 Design-athon, which has been inspired by the winner of this year’s World Cerebral Palsy Day campaign, 'Millions of Reasons'

“At the summit, I felt truly elevated and acknowledged, and I trust that more of this will only continue. Because what also took shape at the summit was a collective understanding that we still have a lot of work to do — but we’re all up for the challenge to set a precedent for more accessible, more affordable, and more inclusive tech not only for, but with disabled people," said Katy Gaastra, Founder, Cerebral Palsy Strong & Digital Engagement Manager, CPARF.

"What the Remarkable Tech Summit did was offer another dimension to the very notion of the burgeoning Disability Economy. They have shown the poetry and prose of this economy are more than just about great ideas, innovative tech, or even the potential of the capital markets, but the idea that the congregation of this community’s impact can profoundly affect society and may have a broader appeal than one can imagine,” said Jonathan Kaufman, a cloumnist for Forbes. 

It was incredible to see a group of disabled and non-disabled leaders from across the world, come together - many meeting for the first time. This web of connections will continue to bear fruit in months and years to come. 

A priority of this summit was to ensure that everyone who attended was able to leave with learnings and challenges to help guide and support their work in the Disability Tech space. To ensure this, we hosted group discussions and brainstorms where our guests provided insight into what was still needed in the Disability Tech space. Some of the broad areas that were raised included: 

  • Advancing the employment rate of people with disabilities in leadership roles 
  • Highlighting and eliminating ableism from policy and procedure within all industries 
  • Increasing the investment and capital available to disability-led startups
  • Recognising the role that disabled hackers play everyday in making the world work for them when it hasn’t been designed to account for their needs
  • Building capability and education so that accessibility is built in from the beginning in products and services
  • Ensuring that design is being done WITH, not for, the disability community
  • The need for the ecosystem builders to create further connections between investors, researchers, corporate allies, founders and the disability sector. 

So, what's next?

This year’s Summit was the first of what will hopefully be many more where we will convene global leaders who are building the disability tech ecosystem. Remarkable is always looking for collaborators, partners, other champions we can work with to keep making progress. We will soon release a report covering some of the challenges of emerging structural areas that need work for the benefit of the ecosystem. 

Saturday, 3rd December marks one of the biggest days in the disability community’s calendar, International Day of People with Disability. This year's theme celebrates how innovation has supported more inclusive lives - something we at CPA champion every day!

Thank you for your continued support this year. Here are some highlights of what we have achieved together, and information on our holiday season closure and reopen dates for 2022/23.