Moonshot Fund to Prepare Early-Stage Companies for Venture Capital investment by Enable Ventures and Others
Washington DC, (September 19, 2022) – SmartJob, the first-of-its-kind global company dedicated to closing the disability wealth gap by catalyzing employment through innovation, is pleased to announce, in partnership with Enable Ventures, the launch of a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action.
Announced today at this year’s CGI meeting, the initiative is called “Closing the Disability Wealth Gap Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” for the Moonshot Disability Accelerator Fund (the Moonshot Fund). The Moonshot Fund will provide direct funding for 10 global accelerators working with early-stage entrepreneurs innovating at the intersection of disability and technology to prepare them for investment by Enable Ventures and other venture funds seeking market-rate, risk-adjusted returns at the intersection of disability and tech innovation.
CGI, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
SmartJob is an impact consultant and early-stage scout for Enable Ventures, an impact venture fund focused on investing in and scaling early-stage companies that leverage disability as an asset to unleash untapped economic potential through products and services powered by universal design. Enable Ventures is backed by the Sorenson Impact Group.
The disabled population currently experiences crisis-level unemployment and a lack of capital investing in earlystage
solutions. According to the United Nations, 1.5 billion people globally live with disabilities, which is almost 20 percent of the world’s population. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s working-age persons with disabilities (PWD) are not employed. All in all, it is estimated that the global GDP loses approximately $1.9 trillion annually due to exclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.
“The Moonshot Disability Accelerator Fund is an unrivaled step toward truly supporting a global marketplace for
innovators with disabilities and those working with people with disabilities to create new technologies to improve the human experience. This is a signpost that people with disabilities will unlock new value for society and play a prominent role in the workplace and global marketplace in the coming decades,” said Regina “Gina” Kline, SmartJob Founder and Chair and Founder and Managing Partner of Enable Ventures. “For the first time in history, there is a nexus of rising societal expectations, rapidly advancing technological innovation and significant capital earmarked for DEI to build an inclusive economy. The workplace and capital markets can no longer afford to ignore people with disabilities. This Commitment to Action will ensure that accelerator partners around the world have the financial support to enable early-stage enterprises with game-changing tech innovations to become investment ready. We are incredibly grateful to CGI for its leadership in bringing this groundbreaking initiative to its world-class convening and amplifying the message of a rising class of innovators with disabilities across the world and those working as leaders in the global disability tech market.”
“SmartJob’s and Enable Ventures’ innovative initiative will provide critical opportunities for workers with disabilities across the globe,” said Rose Aka-James, Senior Community Manager, Health Equity, Clinton Global Initiative. “For too long, the disability community has been overlooked by capital markets, and the Moonshot commitment recognizes the boundless opportunities waiting at the intersection of disability and technology – introducing a new era where equity is at the center.”
There are more than 2.5 billion people who would benefit from assistive products. People with disabilities, alongside their friends and family, control over $13 trillion in global disposable income. The US assistive tech market will be valued at $26 billion by 2024. The global disability community is expected to increase from 1.5 billion people to 3.5 billion by 2050 as populations age and the rate of non-communicable diseases rises.
“The disability market is massively underserved and undercapitalized. I know from my own experience as an entrepreneur that investing in disability-related innovations can be profitable and personally enriching,” said Jim Sorenson, President and Founder of the Sorenson Impact Group. “I believe that the CGI Commitment to Action for the Moonshot Fund will play a critical role in capturing the enormous innovation taking place at the intersection of disability and turning these many great ideas into investible transformational products and services for us all.”
Moonshot Disability Accelerator Fund
The Fund will aim to support 10 accelerators in eight different countries. Through this initiative, the Moonshot Fund will identify and support cohorts in these accelerators that will, in turn, support and mentor approximately 220 early-stage companies across the globe in 2022-2023. In addition, the Fund plans to deploy catalytic, seedstage investments into companies in the moonshot’s accelerator cohorts.
Examples of the global accelerators that the Moonshot Fund intends to support are:
Global Centre of Possibility (NZ) | Minnie Baragwanath
Access to Success Accelerator (CAN) | Varun Chandak
AT Innovate Now (KE) | Bernard Chiira
Global Disability Innovation ("GDI") Hub Incubator, University College London (UK) | Catherine Holloway
Remarkable Accelerator (AUST) | Pete Horsley; (US) | Molly Levitt
Disability Impact Fund Incubator (CHN) | Jani Jalavisto
AssisTech Foundation (IN) | Prateek Madhav
2Gether-International (US) | Diego Mariscal
Synergies Work i2i Incubator (US) | Aarti Sahgal
Communication Service for the Deaf – Social Venture Fund Incubator (US) | Rosa Lee Timm
SmartJob will serve as the impact consultant for the Moonshot Fund. The Fund will be a fiscally sponsored project of the New Venture Fund (NVF), an independent 501(c)(3) organization specializing in helping funder collaboratives and others launch new social change projects.
In its role as impact consultant, SmartJob will make recommendations to deploy Moonshot Fund capital to the global accelerators and to early-stage companies that have been supported by the initiative’s accelerators. The companies that will comprise the accelerator cohorts will require very early investment to reach commercial viability. This kind of high-risk capital is catalytic and crucial to early-stage companies bridging the pioneer gap before they enter subsequent rounds of venture capital funding.
About Smart Job
SmartJob is a global company dedicated to closing the disability wealth gap by catalyzing employment through innovation. It serves as a first-of-its-kind impact consultant that scouts, sources, advises, and supports social entrepreneurs and early-stage companies that are committed and focused on profound disability impact. Established in 2020, SmartJob supports Enable Ventures, the first Impact Venture Fund dedicated to closing the disability wealth gap while achieving competitive, market-rate returns. SmartJob is led by its founder Regina “Gina” Kline, the entrepreneur and civil rights lawyer, and a 14-person advisory board that brings together skills and lived experience from disability policy, disability advocacy, investing, technology and the impact economy. For more information, please visit https://www.smartjob.net/.
About Enable Ventures
Enable Ventures is the first impact venture fund dedicated to closing the disability wealth gap while achieving competitive, market-rate returns. Enable Ventures is led by Regina “Gina” Kline, the investor, entrepreneur, and civil rights lawyer and supported by SmartJob, a platform to attract disability deal flow, and support and build the disability innovation ecosystem. Enable Ventures is part of the Sorenson Impact Platform of Funds and is backed by world renowned entrepreneur, business leader, and societal innovator Jim Sorenson and Sorenson Impact’s vast, world-class experience in impact and market-rate investment. For more information, please visit www.enableventures.vc.
About Sorenson Impact Asset Management
Sorenson Impact Asset Management is the asset management subsidiary of Sorenson Impact Group. We are looking to deliver market-rate, risk-adjusted returns and investments. We seek to scale capital deployment by launching thesis-driven investment strategies with like-minded partners, especially those from diverse founders, with innovative solutions that can create impact at scale. Currently, strategies supported by Sorenson Impact Asset Management include Enable Ventures, Catalyst Opportunity Funds, and University Venture Funds. For more information, please visit https://www.sorensonimpact.com/.
About New Venture Fund
The New Venture Fund (NVF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides an efficient, cost-effective, and timesaving platform to launch and operate public interest projects. NVF supports projects that share its purpose of creating positive impact, providing an avenue for innovative approaches and bold action. Using the fiscal sponsorship model, NVF provides its hosted projects with the operational assistance and expertise they need to drive change. For more information, please visit https://newventurefund.org/.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global and emerging leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI works with partners to drive action through its unique model. Rather than directly implementing projects, CGI facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate, and develop Commitments to Action —new, specific, and measurable plans that address global challenges. Through CGI, the community has made more than 3,700 Commitments to Action that have made a difference in the lives of more than 435 million people in more than 180 countries.