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A Karachi based startup is among eleven businesses from around the world who are the successful applicants of Google’s Accelerator program on Sustainable Development Goals. These startups address a wide range of social and environmental challenges, and are working toward at least one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations.

Following the call for entries, the program received applications from close to 1,200 startups from Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Among the entries from all around the world,  WonderTree became the only start up from Pakistan to win. WonderTree is a tech company whose flagship project is called “WonderGames”. Using Augmented Reality, WonderTree makes interactive games for motor, academic and cognitive development and education of children with special needs. Deployed in 5 cities across Pakistan, WonderTree engages 4000+ active users in 40+ schools. WonderTree is the only company using technology to meet the special needs of the marginalized population of Pakistan. Currently, WonderTree is working towards spreading its operations in Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.

Key features of WonderTree games include fully customizable settings, immersive experiences for different target populations and real time clinically backed reporting. WonderTree games are designed to develop physical, cognitive, language and social skills in children with special needs. Our target users are children on various spectrum of motor and cognitive disability which include autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning disability.

WonderTree meets three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN, namely SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.

The other selected startups are from France, Germany (2), Israel, Kenya (2), Netherlands, Nigeria, and the UK (2).

Each startup founder will work closely with engineers from over 20 Google teams and other subject matter experts to address product, engineering, business development, and funding challenges. Since this accelerator is focused on sustainability, founders will learn these skills through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals and relevant partners.

WonderGames are available for free trial download on their website for children with special needs and can be reached on their social media platforms.

About the Google for Startups Accelerator Program

Our Google for Startups Accelerator is focused on sustainable development goals. Geared towards social impact startups working to create a healthier and more sustainable future, the accelerator provides access to training, products and technical support. Startup founders will work with Google engineers and receive mentoring from over 20 teams at Google, as well as outside experts and local mentors.

The 11 successful startups have been selected based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals including poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The program is designed to address the unique challenges founders face when building a social impact company:

  • Product and engineering expertise: People with social impact expertise don’t always have experience building tech products. Our program seeks to bring startups together with the best technology products, data and people to help them build expertise.
  • Business development: Monetization for social impact startups is complex and can involve multiple parties.The people who pay for it may not be the people who use it, or the people who benefit from it. Our accelerator will help founders connect with relevant audiences, such as potential users, investors and advertisers.
  • Access to funding: While investors are increasingly seeing the value in social impact startups, there are unique challenges in attracting the right investors, and competing with traditional startups who are focused primarily on growth or acquisition. This accelerator will help participants connect and work with a wider base of potential investors.

The accelerator is part of Google for Startups which help startups build and scale great products by matching them with the best of Google—our people, network and advanced technologies. To learn more about Google for Startups, visit startup.google.com or follow us on Twitter (@GoogleStartups).

About the eleven selected startups

  • Apic.ai(Germany): Apic AI is using honeybees as biosensors to provide intelligence in the fight against the perishing of insects. (SDG 2,SDG 11,SDG 15)
  • Cervest.earth(UK): Cervest.earth provides personalised insights that help organisations predict and manage the impact of climatic and extreme events, in real-time, for any location on the planet. Using this information, producers and policymakers can make proactive and smart decisions that help shape and sustain their future and our planet. (SDG 13)
  • Ellipsis.earth(UK): Ellipsis.earth offers complete end-to-end software to map the missing 99% of plastic pollution on earth by leveraging drone imagery. With the help of strategic partnerships, they aim to provide a global database of plastic waste to influence lasting change. (SDG 14, SDG 15)
  • Everimpact(France): Everimpact provides an innovative solution to monitor air quality and carbon emissions in cities by combining satellite and ground sensing, utilising mobile, IoT and Big Data technologies. (SDG 11,SDG 13)
  • Flare (Kenya): Flare is a software infrastructure and operational support for emergency response services. (SDG 3,SDG 9,SDG 10)
  • mDoc(Nigeria): mDoc uses a high-tech, high-touch approach to support people living with chronic diseases through a digital platform and in-person hubs. (SDG 3)
  • OKO (Israel): OKO is a new generation crop insurance designed for emerging markets, using new technologies in satellite imagery and weather forecasting to simplify and automate claim management. (SDG 1)
  • Ororatech(Germany): Ororatech is the first commercial supplier of infrared satellite data for early detection and real-time monitoring of wildfires across the globe. (SDG 13, SDG 15)
  • Skilllab(Netherlands): Skilllab provides artificial intelligence driven skill assessment to better integrate refugees into labour markets. (SDG 4,SDG 8,SDG 10)
  • Solar Freeze (Kenya): Solar Freeze is pioneering mobile cold storage units powered by renewable energy for rural smallholder farmers, to help them reduce the huge challenge of post-harvest loss in much of the developing world. (SDG 1,SDG 2,SDG 7)
  • WonderTree (Pakistan): WonderTree accelerates cognitive and motor development in children with special needs through a variety of movement based therapeutic and educational games. (SDG 3, SDG 4, SDG 10)