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20 top Canadian tech startup founders to follow on Twitter

November 30, 2017

The roster of Canadian tech startup founders is endless. To shine a light on this emerging community, we have created a list of 20 names from across the country who are helping to define the Canada’s startup narrative on Twitter. With this list, we aimed to highlight a diverse range of voices from coast-to-coast and from ventures of varying sizes. The one unifier: all 20 individuals are using Twitter exceedingly well to grow their business and be part of the conversation worldwide.

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Advocates demand Lyft meet same accessibility standards as rival Uber

November 21, 2017

Local advocates who pushed Uber to up its game on accessibility are urging Lyft, which enters the Toronto market in December, to do the same. “Whether it’s Uber or a competitor, looking hard at accessibility is a vital component for any business,” said Maayan Ziv, founder of accessibility-based tech firm AccessNow. “Regardless of who you are, you should not be restricted from a service.”

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What Canada can learn from Israel’s entrepreneurial ethos

November 21, 2017

In the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem sits a ruined citadel called David’s Tower. Fought over by King David himself, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans and Israelis, it’s now a museum spanning 4,000 years of history. But the castle is soon to assume another identity: as home to a startup accelerator specializing in virtual reality.
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maayan smiles on stage at the startup canada day on the hill event. behind her is a large screen that reads "Announcement: Startup Jerusalem Competition Canada" in red

Entrepreneur Heads To Israel To Share Accessibility App

November 7, 2017

Maayan Ziv has been something of an entrepreneur her entire life. Not necessarily the “develop a product and bring it to market” sort of entrepreneur; more the “see a problem, find a solution” type of entrepreneur. Ziv, 27, was born with muscular dystrophy and has used a wheelchair since she was a child.
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Maayan Ziv – Advocating for Accessibility

November 6, 2017

SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? MZ: In many ways I feel I have been learning to be an entrepreneur since I was very little. From being a young girl with a disability to today.  I often have to problem-solve through challenging situations because the reality is that the world just isn’t built for people with disabilities in mind.
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Advice to entrepreneurs: Be willing to admit when you don’t know

October 27, 2017

Maayan Ziv s a photographer turned tech entrepreneur with a creative story to match. From solving her own problems to changing the conversation about accessibility, Maayan is a trailblazer who is unafraid to admit when she doesn’t know something. AccessNow recently won the inaugural #MoveTheDialPITCH competition, winning $10,000 cash on top of mentorship from an experienced panel of judges.
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Maayan ziv, left, Jodi Kovitz, right, pose with a cheque for AccessNow.

Bend family asks you to crowdsource accessibility

October 24, 2017

Bella Beare has muscular dystrophy and will likely never walk. But recently, she’s learned to roll, and her mother, Jessica Beare, says it’s given Bella a new lease on life. “As soon as you put her in that and she has the freedom of getting around, she just — she lights up,” the mother said Tuesday.
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AccessNow receives $10,000 from #MoveTheDial pitch competition

October 23, 2017

This past weekend in Toronto, five women founders pitched to a room of 100 people for the first-ever #MoveTheDial hackathon. In the end, Ziv took the top prize of $10,000 for AccessNow. “Within a very short time, #Movethedial has already created meaningful impact for my journey as a female founder building my first tech company,” said Ziv.
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Toronto continues to ‘lag behind’ on making city accessible, councillor says

September 27, 2017

As hundreds of athletes with disabilities compete in the Invictus Games this week in Toronto, a push is on to make the city’s businesses more accessible….Maayan Ziv, who has muscular dystrophy, is a champion for furthering accessibility in Toronto. She created a website and app to showcase areas around the world that are accessible — and those that aren’t.
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AccessNow’s Maayan Ziv: Accessibility is the key to tech innovation

September 1, 2017

Maayan Ziv is a photographer turned entrepreneur who found her passion by working to solve the accessibility challenges she faces in everyday life. Now, she’s an advocate for accessibility in tech through her company, AccessNow. Read on to see her global idea for tech and innovation.
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Empowered by technology, young people set out to create greater inclusion.

August 17, 2017

The Jetsons promised us flying cars. Star Trek made teleportation seem a graspable dream. And people are still waiting eagerly for Back to the Future’s hoverboards to make their way to sporting goods stores. While many technologies remain elusive, today’s generation of tech savvy change-makers are dreaming up a new era of accessibility with inclusion at its core.
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How accessible is the Pan Am Path? One group is mapping the trail to find out

July 8, 2017

One Toronto group is en route to making outdoor trails more accessible. AccessNow is mapping the Pan Am Path to find out how easily people with mobility devices can use the trail. Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an advocacy organization, said that people often forget about lifestyle and recreational activities in the conversation about accessibility. 
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Pan Am Path mapping project aims to make trail accessible for all

July 7, 2017

Anthony Lue is a cyclist and Paralympics hopeful, but this summer he is taking on a new project — biking and mapping the 85-kilometre Pan Am Path. Using a streetview camera mounted on an off-road wheelchair, Lue will be photographing and exploring the path in the initiative with AccessNow, Icon Wheelchairs and Google.
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Bringing AccessNow to Toronto Trails

July 5, 2017
For Maayan Ziv, accessibility means a lot more than the availability of ramps to get into a government building or restaurant.
The 27-year-old founder of the social enterprise AccessNow, who uses a wheelchair, has turned her attention to accessibility for trails and parks. “When we talk about accessibility, often we forget about recreational activities,” she said.


New CN Tower windows offer a view with no limits

June 26, 2017

If you’ve been wondering why a section of Toronto’s iconic CN Tower has been covered in a tarp for the past month — wonder no longer. New floor-to-ceiling windows were unveiled on Monday on the lookout level of the tower, offering a better view for everyone, including people who use wheelchairs.
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Toronto needs new plan to be barrier free as accessibility becomes law, says advocate

June 19, 2017

As the city seeks to renew its accessibility plan, those who want to eliminate barriers say some Toronto small businesses are putting them up instead of tearing them down. Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an app that finds and rates accessibility of restaurants and stores, recently found out that a place where she used to buy shawarma on Spadina Avenue is no longer barrier free.
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AppTV: Interview with AccessNow App Creator Maayan Ziv

August 2, 2017

Not knowing which restaurants, hotels, bars and stores were accessible frustrated Maayan Ziv​. So she built an app for that. AppTV’s Richard Harlow speaks to Ziv about AccessNow​, which uses crowdsourcing to rate the accessibility of businesses.
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App TV: AccessNow App Walkthrough

June 14, 2017

AccessNow aims to share accessibility information around the world. Search for specific places like a restaurant, hotel or store, or browse the map to see what is nearby with the accessibility features you require. Filter the map by category and tags and find the access that you need now.
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Startup Canada Podcast: Accessing Entrepreneurship with AccessNow’s Maayan Ziv

May 2, 2017

Overcoming adversity is not for the faint of heart. Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an app that finds and rates accessible restaurants, stores, hotels, and more worldwide, is working tirelessly to bring accessibility to the forefront of everyone’s minds. “The idea is to actually build an inclusive community where we can all relate to what accessibility means.”
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This 25-year-old is creating a global roadmap for accessibility

April 11, 2017

There’s an app for everything — almost.  Maayan Ziv noticed that while it’s easy to use your phone to figure out when a restaurant is open or what’s on the menu, it was almost impossible to look up whether those places were wheelchair accessible. 
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CBC’s We are Canada looks at country’s future not its past

April 10, 2017

Show co-created by Ken Dryden celebrates innovative Canadians like Toronto’s Maayan Ziv. Maayan Ziv in Toronto, one of the subjects of the CBC-TV series We Are Canada, has created an app that rates businesses on how accessible they are to handicapped people.
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AccessNow: How Maayan Ziv’s App Discovers Accessibility Anyplace, Anytime

April 7, 2017

Maayan Ziv is a twenty-five-year-old fashion photographer turned accessibility advocate and app developer. Born with muscular dystrophy, Ziv plans to map the world with her app, Access Now, which uses crowdsourcing to pin-point the accessibility status of locations.
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We Are Canada: The people who will help forge our future

April 3, 2017

Maayan Ziv zips around downtown Toronto. She is in a wheelchair, but that doesn’t matter hugely to her, nor that she has a form of muscular dystrophy, nor that she is young, nor that she is tiny. “I’m not thinking small,” says the 25-year-old photographer. “I want to go big.” The only thing that really gets in her way are the stupid little barriers the rest of us don’t think about.
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#NotableWomen in Tech: Maayan Ziv, Founder of AccessNow

March 8, 2017

AccessNow is mapping as many places around the world as possible and building a community of people passionate about change in the process. AccessNow is all about empowering people with accessibility challenges with access to all the places they want to go…now!  
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This Photographer’s App is Globalizing Accessibility

February 15, 2017

Maayan Ziv is a 26-year-old self-taught professional photographer from Toronto, Canada. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Radio and Television Arts, she went on to pursue a career that focused mainly on black and white emotive portraiture, editorial fashion and gritty street scenes.
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Meet Maayan Ziv. Her Mission? To Make Cities Accessible to All

December 14, 2016

The Torontonian is the creator of AccessNow: a website—and now an app—that crowdsources the accessibility of everyday places. We talked to Ziv, who uses a wheelchair, about the lightbulb moment behind her idea and finding opportunity and strength through disability. 
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The 10 Best Product Designs of 2016

December 9, 2016

Best Product for Social Good: AccessNow app for iOS
The purpose of AccessNow is simple: provide information about whether restaurants, bars, shops, cultural institutions and other places of business and commerce are accessible to those with physical disabilities.
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Human rights activists honoured at Toronto city hall

December 7, 2016

The city of Toronto handed out its 2016 Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards Tuesday evening to activists who are working to break down barriers to equality in the city. “We need to make sure that each person is seen, that their voices are heard, and that each person feels that they have the rights to different spaces in Toronto,” said Ziv, founder of the mobile app AccessNow and winner of the Award for Disability Issues.
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This Toronto Photographer’s App Is Remapping Accessibility Around the World

November 22, 2016

Maayan Ziv was born with muscular dystrophy which she says has helped her build up a sense of resilience. “People assume that I’m a sweet little girl who has nice dreams,” she says wryly, “watch me kill that assumption.” A passionate photographer and entrepreneur, she is working to change expectations of how people with disabilities access public spaces.
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AccessNow founder Maayan Ziv talks business benefits of accessibility at #TechTO

June 10, 2016

At the latest TechToronto meetup last week, AccessNow founder Maayan Ziv kicked off her presentation with a photo of a step at an entrance of a business. Ziv, who has muscular dystrophy, summed it up simply: “This sucks, and this could be your business.”
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AccessNow founder receives David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility

June 8, 2016

AccessNow founder Maayan Ziv, who created a crowdsourced web app that allows users to determine the accessibility of restaurants, cafes, and hotels in their city, has been recognized with a David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility.
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#DMZSession Explores Creating tech that promotes inclusion, rather than accommodation

June 3, 2016

These days, almost everyone owns a smartphone, and goes about their day swiping through their favourite apps on their way to work and home without a second thought. But what if technology — which is considered a powerful tool for marginalized groups to communicate and express themselves — isn’t designed in a way that includes everyone?
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AccessNow empowers community of people living with disabilities to find access

May 2, 2016

Maayan Ziv understanding the struggle to find information on wheelchair accessibility first hand; growing up with spinal muscular atrophy, Ziv says one of the top questions she asks restaurant owners or hotel managers on a regular basis is whether or not a place is wheelchair accessible.
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Building an app that empowers people

March 19, 2016

AccessNow uses crowdsourcing to pinpoint accessible businesses

February 28, 2016

It’s a situation countless people with disabilities regularly find themselves facing — one a new app aims to make sure anyone with accessibility issues can avoid. Imagine planning a night out with friends, calling ahead to a restaurant to make sure you have a reservation, and then finding out you can’t get through the front door.
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Website helps those with physical disabilities find accessible buildings

February 5, 2016

People with physical disabilities have a new tool to avoid the frequent frustration of inaccessible buildings. “Imagine going to a location, trying to show up to an event or a job interview, and there’s a step,” says Access Now founder Maayan Ziv, who uses a mobility device. “That’s the situation I’ve been in countless times.”
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Ryerson graduate creates app to make the world more accessible

January 11, 2016

Maayan Ziv is a former graduate of Digital Media with a passion for creating a more accessible world for people who use wheelchairs. At age 25, she may have done just that.“ AccessNow is a mobile app that is using crowd sourcing to collect and share accessibility information all around the world,” said Ziv.
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Une nouvelle application torontoise change la vie des personnes à mobilité réduite

January 2, 2016

L’anxiété et la frustration de ne pas avoir accès à certains commerces ont poussé Maayan Ziv, une photographe professionnelle qui souffre de dystrophie musculaire, à créer l’application pour téléphones intelligents Access Now.
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CTV Toronto: Online tool tracks barrier-free businesses

An entrepreneur has launched a website with interactive maps of accessible places in Toronto.

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International day of persons with disabilities: AccessNow

December 3, 2015

December 3rd, 2015 marks the United Nations Enable initiative of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme for this year’s Day is “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities,” and we thought we would ask our friend Maayan Ziv to tell us about her new app, AccessNow. 
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Website reviews businesses based on accessibility

November 20, 2015

A Toronto woman has created a solution to a problem many of us don’t realize exists. Maayan Ziv is a wheelchair user. She thoroughly researches locations and often calls ahead before visiting them to make sure they are accessible to her. But often, even if she’s been told otherwise, she says there’s some sort of access barrier, “I show up in New York City at the hotel and there’s five steps to the entrance.
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Accessibility questions? There’s an app for that

October 27, 2015

Ryerson grad Maayan Ziv’s friends moved four garbage cans out of an alley way, kicked aside debris and pried open a heavy gate so that Ziv could access Lou Dawgs’ back patio in her power chair last September. It was her first week in Ryerson’s master of digital media program and she was determined to meet with the rest of her class who had gathered there.
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Parapan Games test Toronto’s accessibility

August 11, 2015

Ontario has touted Toronto 2015’s Parapan Am Games as the most accessible games ever, but what do our visiting athletes think? The Star asked para-athletes how the city fares when compared with the barriers they face back home. From widened doorways to the tiny bumps ahead of a blended curb, they credited building designs and social attitudes as two factors that helped them overcome barriers throughout the wider Toronto community. In light of the Games, both residents and those visiting have a new tool at their disposal to report barriers they find in public spaces.
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