From Tragedy to Triumph: Meet Brandon Winfield, CEO of iAccess
On this episode of TechConnect, we sit down with the incredible Brandon Winfield. He’s the CEO and founder of iAccess, a lifestyle phone application for users with mobility impairments to rate and review establishments based on their accessibility.
After suffering a severe injury during a motocross race as a teen, Brandon became paralyzed from the chest down. A testament to the type of person he is, Brandon continued to compete in sports and began to notice how inaccessible many of the venues could be for people like him. He decided to use his disability as an opportunity to do good.
When we spoke with Brandon back in 2018, he had just quit his full-time job to jump headfirst into the tech world and build iAccess from the ground up. A lot has changed since then, so be sure to catch up with the latest news from iAccess here.
Tell us a bit about iAccess. What is your mission?
To revolutionize accessibility by providing a platform of accessibility ratings and venues and locations that people attend. It’s kind of hard for us to get this information without having to call people, and we don’t know if that information we’re getting is credible. So what we’re providing is a platform for people with mobility impairments to go in rate, review, and let people know what’s going on in these locations so people can know before they go.
Is there an app in the works?
Yes. We started partnering with KiwiTech. We got our first round of funding yesterday that’s going to secure development, so that’s good news. We’ll start development next week. We wanted to build an app because a lot of people with mobility impairments need their hands to do things. It has to be quick—get on it, write a review, get out.
You’re building such a meaningful, authentic brand. Can you speak to that?
With my injury, I knew that what I was doing was dangerous. I knew the consequences of that. A lot of people, when they get hurt, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. iAccess is supposed to give people their life back. I saw a lot of people in rehabilitation who had given up and didn’t know where to go. We want iAccess to be a tool for getting back into life and not having to feel like you’re a burden to people around you. We want people to know before they go, feel comfortable, and seek new adventures stress-free.
Are there any corporate partnerships you’re interested in pursuing?
We’d love to partner with Lyft. There’s a lot of people out there who can’t drive yet, so it would be awesome for Lyft to work with people that are in wheelchairs and have their drivers trained on that to help people with disabilities get into the car. Airbnb would be great, too. It would be awesome if we could help people find accessible houses to stay at and go on vacation. We’d also love to partner with LinkedIn to provide jobs for people with disabilities because there’s a big gap in that as well.
Brandon is empowering over 77 million adults across the nation who have complex activity limitations. Let’s support him any way that we can. Learn more about iAccess on their website and connect with Brandon on LinkedIn here. For more real-life stories and behind-the-scenes insights from tech leaders, founders, innovators, and visionaries, make sure you subscribe to TechCONNECT.