Dealflow | August 22, 2023

Kennedy cousin invests in disability services

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, Aug. 22 – The challenges of people affected by disabilities are attracting entrepreneurs – and investors. The latest example: Christopher McKelvy, a grandson of Patricia Kennedy Lawford, who has launched K. Ventures with former JPMorgan banker of Judd Olanoff.

The investment fund is looking to raise $35 million to invest in startups that provide services for the more than 42 million disabled Americans. Globally, some 1.8 billion people identify as disabled.

“K. Ventures is inspired by my great aunt Rosemary, who was diagnosed with an intellectual disability in 1918,” McKelvy wrote on LinkedIn. He told told The New York Times that he hopes K. Ventures “will be the next chapter” of his family’s many decades of work on behalf of the disabled.

K. Ventures has made investments in NeuroNav, a Stanford spin-off that helps disabled Californians access state benefits; Juno, an insurance provider for parents of children with disabilities; and Juniper Behavioral Health, an automated billing system for health care providers.  

Inclusive design

Sorenson Impact’s Jim Sorenson and former disabilities lawyer Regina Kline created Enable Ventures to fund growth-stage ventures founded by, for or with people with disabilities.

“Disability really is inherently better design,” Kline told ImpactAlpha. “The founders that we see every day are designing inclusively to reach more people, and to exclude fewer through universal and inclusive design.”

2Gether-International, a Washington, D.C.-based impact accelerator that supports entrepreneurs with disabilities, has raised over $1 million towards a $5 million fund for disabled founders. Ibrahim Rashid, who as a student was impacted by long Covid, built Strong Haulers, an app to help long haulers manage their symptoms.