Technology for seniors, whether it’s healthcare, fintech or entertainment, isn’t new, but a new community of startups, investors and global industry leaders are putting spotlight what they say is an $ 8.3 trillion opportunity.
AARP’s AgeTech Collaborative brings together organizations, such as T. Rowe Price, Walgreens, Cooley and QED Investors, to evolve startup products and tools and present them to AARP’s 38 million members.
The collaboration kicked off with 50 participating startups, including Voiceitt, Rendever, Trust & Will and Mighty Health. Companies benefit from six testbeds to test their products and will be able to bounce ideas off more than 10 investors and venture capitalists, leading companies with community stake of over 50 and service providers.
Andy Miller, senior vice president of innovation and product development at AARP, told TechCrunch that if the purchasing power of people over 50 is already $ 8.3 trillion, it should triple in 30 years.
Miller said the idea came from AARP Innovation Labs, an accelerator he runs that attracts around 30 companies but was unable to provide access to AARP members. Instead, the organization began to think about ways to give startups a path to scale, including finding pilot opportunities and partnering with companies eager to test products.
The AARP was also receiving calls from venture capitalists seeking the organization’s perspective on a startup targeting the 50+ market, as well as other acceleration programs.
“We felt there was this huge need to bring this ecosystem together,” Miller said. “Within this demographic, 10,000 people turn 65 every day, and the oldest millennials are 10 years old from turning 50. There is a financial incentive, but ours is socially good in allowing people to age better. We can leverage the power of AARP, the ultimate connector where we have a unique perspective, with VC, businesses, and startups. If anyone were to win the age stack, it would have to be the AARP. We want everyone to be successful.
Other organizations are also playing in the age tech space, looking for the next best innovations, including Aging 2.0, as startups continue to fund various products and services. For example, Bold raised $ 7 million earlier this year for its fitness programs for seniors.
Meanwhile, before the global pandemic, technology for the elderly was nice to have, but is now “an absolute necessity to live your best life,” he added. Whether it was scanning QR codes to access a restaurant menu or telemedicine appointments with doctors, older people needed to be more comfortable with technology.
In addition to these two areas, Miller sees innovations in categories like voice, which Voiceitt is working on with technology to decipher the growls and sounds that result in lights turning on, and fintech with products like intergenerational financial planning.
FinTech is also one of the areas that Nigel Morris, Managing Partner of QED Investors, oversees.
There is a need to understand retirement options and determine if they will pass money on to their children and people no longer retire at 60 and go to the beach, but prefer to take advantage of the little ones economy. jobs, he said.
QED is investing in four age tech companies, including Freewill, a gift management software, and True Link, which helps caregivers manage their finances.
“Business is thinking about this problem, and now is the time,” Morris added. “This population is not classically cool and is overlooked because many investors do not understand the population. There are so many opportunities and AARP is putting it all together is great. Being a founding member is a feather in our hat.