Baby Boomers are now between the ages 53 and 71. WOW. My parents produced 6 baby boomers in our family. My brothers and sisters are all now part of the population Innovation@50+ aims to serve and impact  (hmmm, we don’t feel 50+).  It is estimated that 117 Million will need some level of caregiving assistance by 2020 and there are 40 million (unpaid) family caregivers. Yikes!! ..and it’s an opportunity to affect change… let’s develop solutions for social good and for economic opportunity. This is a rare time in history.

Many thanks to AARP for all they are doing to highlight needs and support those of us in the caregiving-focused startup world. AARP is innovating their own organization, becoming a voice for innovation in the marketplace and helping startups understand the 50+ audience and build valuable businesses. Check out AARP’s Longevity Network.

AARP Innovation@50+: What a fantastic event!

The right conversations about meeting the 50+ population and families wherever they are. Aging, caregiving, finance, technology, community…  – empowering folks with quality of life. It was wonderful to mingle with so many intelligent, savvy and innovative minds in one place, passionate and focused on impacting older adults and caregivers through healthtech and fintech solutions. Paints a really cool picture. We had a great time and all believe the winner of this event is the over-50 population.

The Marvee team had the honor of participating as one of ten finalists in Caregiving Health Technology at the  AARP Innovate50+ LivePitch event on Wednesday, April 12th, held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.  It was a pleasure to present our startup, Marvee, a care companion solution that gives those hindered by vision, mobility or other challenges an easy way to communicate with family and caregivers, just by using their voice! Just @askmarvee

(And a note… LivePitch was one of the best run events I have attended. Special kudos go to the event producers who worked tirelessly to communicate with finalists in the weeks leading up to the Live Pitch and though out the event itself. Thank you AARP leadership and staff, the speakers, LivePitch Master of Ceremonies, the judges and all involved.  Just a stellar event!  Also, a thank you to Ideo for hosting the VIP event Tuesday evening. Creativity, innovation and commitment oozing from all corners of their office.)

Day One

Those of us who would be “pitching” our startups in the afternoon arrived early to set up our demo tables for the morning. We were able to chat with each other before anyone arrived for the day. Such great people with diverse ideas for innovation. We all come from various industry backgrounds but all together in one room with a common purpose. It certainly highlighted the great need and growing attention to the 50+ population, the needs, and the market opportunity. And it was not unique that most, if not all of the pitch finalist companies, have very personal backstories on why we began our startup journeys. There’s a different motivation in striving towards a profitable and sustainable business, when the passion and purpose is born from personal need.

The Day Begins: Jody Holtzman, Sr. VP AARP Market innovation, welcomed the day sharing the Innovation@50+ success of the past 5 years: 1000+participants, 70 finalists and 50+ VC’s investing $175+ million. Impressive!!

We were excited to start Day One with the main keynote, delivered by JoAnn Jenkins, the CEO of AARP. I had read her book “Disrupt Aging” and looked forward to hearing her speak live. Worth it!

Excellent keynote! JoAnn Jenkins shared with us six areas of need, and opportunity totaling an estimated $72B in market opportunity.

  • Daily Essential Activities
  • Health & Safety Awareness
  • Care Coordination
  • Transition Support
  • Social Well-being
  • Caregiver Quality of Life

Ms Jenkins spoke of the need to change not just our views, but the conversation about aging.  We live decades longer than our grandparents. Middle age really begins in the 60’s now. How will living longer change how we work, play and extend life’s adventure? We need life solutions designed to empower people to live the life they choose as we all move along the aging journey.  If you have not read Ms Jenkins book, Disrupt Aging, it’s a great read.

I was also glad to hear Ms Jenkins’ speak to and address loneliness and social isolation among the aging. This is close to my heart and the original reason we began the AskMarvee startup journey. A voice-driven companion solution to combat social isolation, initially stemming from our backstory where my mothers decreasing vision altered her very active lifestyle. (You can read about it here).

There were several other speakers and “fireside chats” to round out the morning. One was with Richard Lui (MSNBC) who spoke about finding “joy” in his personal journey caring for his dad, living with Alzheimer’s.  Incredible conversation and think his advice to “spend the night” with your loved one to experience what’s really going on – spot on!

You can find the twitter hashtag feed to the event here: #innovate50

It’s LivePitch time!
3-minutes pitch and 5-minute Q&A.
Thank you Master of Ceremonies, Lisa.
Thank you judges for giving your time and valuable insight!

Marvee, integrated with Alexa, gives those hindered by vision, mobility or other challenges an easy way to communicate with family and caregivers, just by using their voice!

It was an honor to present Marvee to the 600+ audience members and via livestream. We were the 8th startup to pitch of the 10 Caregiving healthtech finalists. (and I admit I was nervous about staying within the 3-minute timeframe!).   We appreciate everyone for giving all of us their rapt attention as the day drew long (especially for an East Coaster!).  What a pleasure it was to introduce Marvee as the first voice-designed care companion solution at Innovation@50+ LivePitch! I am so proud of the AskMarvee team for all we’ve accomplished so far.,,, and we’ve only just begun!!

And importantly, Congrats to the Judges winner, GoGoGrandparent and Audience vote winner, SirenCare.  Both with fantastic teams!

MedCity News recap

MedCity News announced their inaugural 50+ Innovation Leaders. So many impactful influencers!  MedCity News also, post-event, wrote up a good synopsis of advice offered during the day. Check it out here: How to succeed in the 50+ Healthcare Market.

 

Day Two – FinTech

Jean Chatsky was the keynote for Day Two, FinTech Day. Excellent presentation about age-proofing our lives. I picked up her book, “age-proof” at the event (thanks for the complementary copy!) and look forward to reading it.

After her keynote, Ms Chatsky and Ken Dychtwald held a fireside chat.  Great conversation and insights offered.  Mr Dychtwals is amazing to listen to; a leader in understanding the effects of an aging population on the marketplace, the workplace and our lives. Be sure to visit Age Wave.

Thursday afternoon the ten Fintech finalists pitched their startup stories. I was rooting for all of them! Check out Innovation@50+ for the list of companies and congrats to winners, Golden and LifeSite!

Again, thank you AARP for a great event and the opportunity to participate!

Have an elder parent, grandparent or loved one who needs a bit of assistance with everyday tasks?
Simple things don’t have to become more difficult with age.
Buy them an Amazon Echo device. It’ll make life better!