This Irish startup wants to be a Google Maps for people with disabilities

Two Irish university grads are on a mission to create a web platform that increases accessibility and awareness around the world.

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I had the privilege of working with some great people in developing New Zealand Toilet Map which was a similar application to this in that it was designed for people who need to find a public toilet in a hurry, anywhere anytime on any device.

Fortunately they were funded by Abbott Laboratories who were able to cover the costs of development, marketing and a campaign that made it all the way to a portaloo decoration competition outside Parliament House.

The charity they were partnered with was the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and we all thought it was great. It was free, we had a big database but we also encouraged crowd sourcing. It worked on smartphones and websites and was a great success for a time, until the funding ran out.

It wasn’t until I came down with prostate cancer that I also found myself with a need to frequently find a public toilet in a hurry. Before that, the concept was academic, interesting and for a good cause. Now I understand the need better.

This startup project is very similar in what it does, although perhaps more complex in the types of information it needs to provide. It should be much easier to develop and use because a greater number of people have devices that know where they are, i.e. smartphones and tablets with GPS.

I hope they can attract sufficient funding to get off the ground and achieve critical mass. The technology side is easy. As we found, it’s money, the right advertising agency and people with the right connections that will ultimately make this a success. It’s also funding that is a key as if you use a benevolent sponsor, their interest dries up with their funds when they have achieved their goals and are ready to move on to their next benevolent project.

I hope this project goes ahead, because I frequently see people with accessibility challenges that could easily be improved with a platform like his.

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
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