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Introducing the TechClusion Fund: Funding for Deaf-Led Tech Startups

November 1, 2023

Introducing the TechClusion Fund: Funding for Deaf-Led Tech Startups

November 1, 2023
November 1, 2023

CSD Social Venture Fund, a subsidiary of Communication for the Deaf, is proud to announce the launch of a new funding source for tech startups that prioritize inclusion and accessibility for deaf communities. The TechClusion Fund is a groundbreaking initiative that addresses a common oversight in technology development: accessibility. The fund was created with the intention of accelerating technology built by companies that create accessible products and services that benefit the Deaf community. 

Over the past 30 years, our society has experienced a rapid evolution in technological advancements. While these advancements generally improve our lives, we often see accessibility features added as an afterthought instead of being built into the original product design. This practice makes the user experience less than ideal for both those who do and do not use these features.  

“Accessible technology doesn’t just benefit Deaf communities,” explained Rosa Lee Timm, President of CSD Social Venture Fund. “When companies design their products with the needs of Deaf or disabled users in mind, they create a better experience for all users.” 

The TechClusion Fund was started with the intention of addressing these systemic and prevalent issues in tech by ensuring that entrepreneurs and developers are intentionally creating their products with all end-users in mind.  

“We expect that the impact of the TechClusion Fund will extend beyond the development of accessible products,” shared Greg Bland, Director of Business Development for CSD Social Venture Fund. “By focusing on startups who hope to have a positive impact on Deaf communities, we will see job creation and more opportunities for economic advancement for Deaf individuals.” 

Unlike CSD Social Venture Fund’s traditional VC funding, TechClusion is open to all tech-startups operating in the United States and not specifically Deaf-owned businesses. Applicants must demonstrate: 

  • How their work will positively impact Deaf communities. This can be through hiring Deaf and hard of hearing employees, Deaf ownership, or outlining how their product or service will contribute to deaf communities. 
  • A commitment to equitably hire Deaf, BIPOC Deaf, and other Deaf groups for various positions at levels of the company, including C-level positions, as the company grows. 
  • A commitment to both their company and TechClusion’s investment. 

For those who are interested in applying or learning more, you can visit CSD Social Venture Fund’s website or contact us for more information.  

About CSD Social Venture Fund: 

CSD’s Social Venture Fund is one of the only venture capital firms and incubators in the world supporting Deaf entrepreneurs and Deaf-owned and operated businesses. CSD SVF provides equity investments to Deaf-led businesses that exemplify CSD’s values: enhancing Deaf economic power, employing Deaf people, and creating social change. CSD SVF is committed to the success of each business, providing not only financial investment, but also access to tools and resources, enabling each Deaf-led business to thrive. Existing portfolio members include MozzeriaNational Deaf TherapyDeafTaxBus Door FilmsHands on Travel, Hotsy Totsy Haus, 4Legz All Natural Dog Treats and Lochiel Brewing. For more information, please visit https://csdsvf.com/ and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn

About Communication Service for the Deaf   
Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) is the largest Deaf-led social impact organization in the world. For more than four decades, CSD has been a leader in creating and providing accessible and innovative solutions for the Deaf community. Today, CSD continues its work to create opportunities for personal and economic growth within the Deaf community, specifically addressing leadership and employment. For more information, please visit CSD and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn

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