Arash Tayebi has become the first person to receive a grant from the newly launched Possibility Fund, set up by Be. Lab founder Minnie Baragwanath in partnership with Perpetual Guardian to support access innovation and entrepreneurship in New Zealand.
Possibility is all about reimagining the status quo in order to create a truly accessible future for all, including the 1 in 4 New Zealanders who live with an access need. It is this sense of imagination, innovation, and courage that the Possibility Fund has been created to incubate and support.
We are incredibly proud to share that an inaugural grant of $30,000 from the Possibility Fund has been gifted to Be. Leadership alumnus, Arash Tayebi. Arash was part of the 2019 Be. Leader cohort and is the CEO and Founder of Kara Technologies, an innovative start-up that has created a hyper-realistic avatar backed-up with motion capture technology and an AI engine that translates content into sign language accurately and efficiently.
It is their vision that this technology will transform experiences for more than 70 million Deaf people around the world who do not currently have access to education, critical information and services in their native sign language.
Read more about Arash’s story and this exciting new technology in this article on Stuff.
Not only is Arash a Be. Leader but his start-up, Kara Technologies, is also a Be. Lab business which worked with our Talent & Employment team to recruit a sign language expert and communication manager with access needs into their team in 2019. Zachary Best was matched with Kara through Be. Lab’s Talent Programme – an innovative permanent employment programme that connects talented access citizens with meaningful roles in leading New Zealand businesses. Candidates are supported with skills development and mentoring from experienced professionals while the business is also offered guidance and support to create an accessible and inclusive place of work.
Reflecting on his experiences aspart of the Be. Lab community, Arash says “being part of the Be. Lab community was an eye-opening journey to me. Not only I am constantly being inspired by visionary people, but also Be. Lab helped me to learn how to work collectively from an accessibility perspective towards realising new possibilities.”
Arash is just one example of what can be achieved when access citizens are given the opportunities and support to flourish.
Investing in this community means investing in a more inclusive, innovative future for all New Zealanders.