For the up to 1 in 5 Australians living with a disability, a lack of publicly available accessible information and inadvertent discriminatory customer service are the two biggest yet easily solved Social Barriers to community participation, sport and leisure and accessible tourism.

Australian tech startup, Cérge, has ambitious growth goals to make a positive difference to the lives of the 4.4 million Australians with a disability. Having recently signed a series of national clients, it is seeking to raise capital to fund future expansion and has appointed tech entrepreneur and C-suite leader, Matt Von der Muhll, to Chief Operating Officer. 

Cérge is a set of companion technologies delivering societal change ensuring we are all more welcoming and inclusive of disability. Founded in 2019 by husband and wife duo, Chris and Victoria Kerrisk, it improves the lives of people with a disability, working to prevent inadvertent discrimination and ensure empathy in everyday experiences like shopping, participating in sport and recreation or when travelling.

The industry award winning technology offers social and economic benefits to local councils, large enterprise, retail, hospitality, sporting, allied health and tourism businesses. It enables participating venues to promote their accessible features for customers to “know before you go,” improving confidence and participation. 

Customers with a disability, parents, carers and support workers can also discreetly inform service staff of essential information about them before their arrival to personalise their experiences, leading to more independence, improved mental health and positive outcomes.

With over 70% of all disabilities being invisible, Cérge provides an extra level of awareness to service staff so they are informed and equipped to warmly welcome everyone, whether they are in a wheelchair, experience social anxiety, or where communication is a barrier.

Cérge has signed more than 100 venues across industry sectors including sports, leisure and recreation facilities, hospitality and tourism businesses, supermarkets and retail stores, including notable brands such as IGA supermarkets and Belgravia Leisure which operates more than 200 sporting and recreational facilities in Australia and New Zealand.

Inviting conversations with impact investors

Given that Cérge has firmly established its market fit and secured committed clients on multi-year licences, Chris Kerrisk recognised the need to engage Matt Von der Muhll as COO to expedite the scaling of the business. Von der Muhll was selected due to his track record of steering successful early-stage ventures through business expansion and international growth.

“We’ve been blown away by the take-up of the Cérge technology to date and today have a presence in every state in Australia as well as New Zealand. With Matt’s extensive experience in innovative tech startups we hope to further accelerate this growth trajectory,” said Kerrisk. 

“We are in active discussions with venture capital firms who have an interest in for-purpose tech companies and are inviting conversations with other impact investors.”

Von der Muhll has led innovative technology firms as Founder and has overseen commercial activities and investments in various roles, including VP Commercial and Corporate Development at Track160, Director APAC at Respondology, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Place Capital, and Executive Director at Unlockd, SpotXchange, and Adconion.

With a year-on-year growth rate of 341% and a potential market of 1.8 billion people globally, Cérge offers a promising investment opportunity, which Von der Muhll will help drive forward and achieve unprecedented social Impact on a global scale.

“Given the prevailing market challenges confronting startups and the economic landscape, Cérge presents investors with an enticing opportunity to participate in a solution that commands attention not only from governmental bodies, exemplified by recent announcements regarding the NDIS overhaul, but also through initiatives like the National Autism Strategy,” said Von der Muhll.

Kerrisk added, “Through technology, Cérge addresses the primary obstacles encountered by individuals with a disability by showcasing accessibility information about destinations to give them greater confidence thus enabling their full participation in community activities. It also improves the confidence of service teams to support their customers by giving them greater awareness of their needs. 

“It really is a dream win-win scenario as a free solution for people with disability and simple and cost efficient platform for business that delivers genuine social impact and brand differentiation to ultimately foster greater equality.”

Business and local governments can sign up to Cérge for an annual fee to make an immediate impact within their communities.

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