The American Association of Retired Persons is looking for entrepreneurs to share their ideas on how to improve healthcare for the grey-haired set in a new component to the advocacy group’s upcoming innovation conference.
The live pitch event is a being held as part of the advocacy group’s annual AARP Health Innovation@50+ conference Sept. 21 in New Orleans.
Among the criteria for entries are:
- Companies will be focused on consumer-oriented health technologies for the ’50 and over’ market.
- Companies will have launched their product/service within one year of the Sept. 21 event date
- Companies will not have raised more than $5 million in funding
Applicants can register here by Aug. 17.
Entrepreneurs will be evaluated on how easy the product or service is to use and whether it can do the job for which it is intended; its growth potential and profitability; the experience of the management team and its ability to bring a product to market and originality.
Among the audience members will be venture and angel investors and AARP members. Although an as yet undetermined number of finalists will be selected, prize winners at the event will be chosen from a judging panel of investors and health technology “experts.” A consumer choice winner will be selected by AARP members in the audience.
The pitching event is a fitting move considering the largest segment of Americans are retirement age, when healthcare needs tend to be greatest for the majority of people.
Although age isn’t a factor for entries, I think it would be particularly effective if some of these applications come from retired persons — after all, who better to know their needs and how to meet their expectations?
I’ve become accustomed to life science entrepreneurs being older than startup leaders from other sectors (due in part to the extra years many of them spent studying medicine or the life sciences). Digital health entrepreneurs, on the other hand, tend to be younger, full of possibilities but not as interested in improving on what’s available so much as knocking it down and building it up again. I’d love to see a healthcare technology company that has a combination of these perspectives and isn’t just about pitching yet another way to remind people to take their medication.