Profound Neurodiversity Accelerator launched

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// A world first ‘Neurodiversity Accelerator’ – ProFound – has been launched in Perth, to support neurodiverse entrepreneurs.

With strong corporate sponsorship support as well as an X-TEND WA state grant, a new accelerator program has been launched – ‘Profound‘ – which looks to support neurodiverse startup and tech entrepreneurs.

An initiative from Apps People, AASQA (Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance) and the Curtin Specialist Mentoring Program, Profound is a world-first program, according to its organisers.

Neurodiversity

‘Neurodiversity’ refers to neurological differences that should be recognized, respected – even celebrated – just as any other human variation. These may include people with Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others.

The generic term ‘neurodiversity’ gained popularity in the late 1990s thanks to work from Australian sociologist Judy Singer and American journalist Harvey Blume.

The Profound Program

The six-month program, which is already in its 3rd week of operation, brings together educators, workshops, mentors and psychologists to support each participant in their entrepreneurial journey.

Workshops include a range of topics such as programming, growth marketing, brand and design, UX and UI, and is being delivered by local startups and businesses including Ammo Marketing, DrawHistory and Anthologie.

Operating out of the brand new WeWork William Square co-working spaced in Northbridge, ProFound is excited to be able to plug into a global community who can support the program.

Balder Tol, General Manager WeWork Australia at the Profound launch

“WeWork creates environments for productivity, innovation, and human connection. Our inclusive community enables organisations of all scales to focus on what matters most—their people and their purpose. Through our partnership with the ProFound Incubator program in Perth, we hope their participants will be able to connect, grow, and access new opportunities to empower their future careers.” said Balder Tol, General Manager WeWork Australia.

Participants will have early access to some of Australia’s most foremost IP experts to help them as they involve themselves in different startup projects, courtesy of Wrays (IP Lawyers).

“We are proud and excited to partner with ProFound,” said Rob Pierce, CEO of Wrays.

“We believe the contribution to their program will not only have a positive effect on the neurodiverse community and the participants but also the wider workforce as they pave the way for an alternative approach to tech innovation for the future.”

Rob Pierce, Wrays CEO
Stuart Kidd (left) with Wrays CEO Rob Pierce and Profound co-founder Johnny Doan

Stuart Kidd and Johnny Doan, the team behind ProFound, believe that they can play a key role in contributing to a more inclusive tech industry by empowering those who are neurodiverse, as does Chandra Sundareswaran, General Manager of Spacecubed.

“Spacecubed congratulates ProFound on this novel initiative that seeks to nurture neurodiverse entrepreneurs,” said Chandra.

“The Incubator is closely aligned with Spacecubed’s vision to empower entrepreneurs and changemakers and foster diversity in the technology sector.”

For Dr Carolyn Williams, CEO of CERI, boot camps will enable and empower the ProFound cohort to explore what’s possible.

“As Gary Schoeniger – co-author of ‘Who Owns the Ice House?’ said: Anyone can be an entrepreneur and it doesn’t always have to be a lonely solitary journey,” said Carolyn.

Dr Carolyn Williams, CERI

“This book provides the core teachings of our first education module, ‘Entrepreneurial Mindset Boot Camp’, at CERI. We are passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and company founders on their business journey and as such we are looking forward to working with ProFound Incubator participants to enable their ventures and help them be the best they can be,” she said.

Ultimately, the program aims to focus on the strengths, talents and ambitions of the participants allowing them to gain knowledge and skills which will propel their careers in the startup and tech industry, with the opportunity to lead their own businesses as entrepreneurs in the future.

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MAIN IMAGE: Stuart Kidd (microphone) and Johnny Doan (far right) launching Profound Accelerator at WeWork this month.

Wrays, JTSI, Spacecubed and Curtin University are also sponsors of Startup News.