This program is run in partnership with Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company, created to accelerate social progress in the United States. French Gates will deliver remarks during today’s event, which will feature presentations from the class of 10 startups, focusing on innovative solutions to address the many unmet needs of older adults and their family caregivers.
The heavy and inequitable burden of unpaid caregiving in the United States is a challenge for many people — and this problem creates a huge market opportunity for investment and innovation. Pivotal Ventures and Techstars created this accelerator to advance solutions empowering older adults to live with greater well-being and dignity, while alleviating the pressures on the people who care for them. Over 60% of caregivers in the U.S. are women, and Hispanic/Latino and Black caregivers experience much greater financial strain from caregiving than their white counterparts.
“Innovation has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, yet the products and services supporting how we age and how we care for our loved ones have remained largely stagnant,” said Jennifer Stybel, Caregiving Lead at Pivotal Ventures. “This accelerator is paving the way for new ideas to help solve age-old problems, including advancements in preventative health and technology to simplify an over-complicated Medicare system. I’m proud that the companies in this year’s Techstars Future of Longevity Class will be part of the solution.”
The composition of this class demonstrates Techstars’ and Pivotal Ventures’ commitment to invest in diverse-led teams. Half of the CEOs are women, 70% are underrepresented in tech, and all the companies have diverse teams. In addition, while conventional startup wisdom tends to assume that successful founders are in their 20s and 30s, the average age of a Future of Longevity CEO is 50.
“We felt that bringing in founders with a career’s worth of experience and learning would be an asset not a liability, and that the best people to identify and solve challenges are generally the ones who are experiencing them first hand,” said Keith Camhi, Managing Director of the Future of Longevity Accelerator. “We cast a wide net, ran an equitable and inclusive application process, and then selected the most talented founders in the category to support. We’re delighted that the outcome included such diversity, proving once again that talent is equally distributed even though opportunity isn’t.”
Launched in 2020, the Washington, D.C. based Future of Longevity Accelerator – which has been run virtually to date – has quickly emerged as the premier ecosystem for supporting early stage innovation in the category. The accelerator focuses on fostering innovative solutions to address the unmet needs of older adults and their caregivers across program themes including aging in place, caregiver support, care coordination, financial wellness, preventive health, and social engagement.
This class represents the second year of the accelerator, following a successful inaugural program in 2020. Each company in this year's 13-week program used their time to accelerate the development of their solutions in unique ways, tailored to their needs and ultimately their vision for the world. The companies have engaged with over 100 mentors, formed deep relationships across the Techstars and Pivotal Ventures’ global networks, iterated on their products, hit business model and growth milestones, and mastered the ability to communicate their vision.
“Techstars provides an incredible level of support. The programming, mentorship, and network access has been amazing. So it truly is accelerating — we made years worth of progress during the three-month program,” said Chekesha Kidd, CEO and Founder of Kinumi. “It is so important that this program was specifically focused on longevity — because aging adults are unfortunately not a population you see targeted every day in the tech and startup space. Being able to have access to mentors who have expertise in longevity specifically and other founders in our cohort working through similar issues within the same industry has been a tremendous resource.”
You can learn more about the 10-company class below or by watching the virtual Demo Day.
For adults with reduced mobility, ABBY is a technologically advanced Smart Wheelchair Platform that is safe and affordable regardless of income or insurance coverage.
Better Coliving is a coliving platform exclusively for the 55+ demographic in the U.S. that helps homeowners earn income by sharing their homes with long-term housemates, and helps housemates find naturally affordable housing and community in neighborhoods they love.
For families battling Alzheimer's disease and those who want to prevent it, BRIGHT built on breakthrough research to develop safe, easy to use light therapy that is known to improve sleep, memory and attention.
HealthHive creates a uniquely structured digital space to allow patients and their families to meaningfully participate in their care without changing the existing workflows of the institutions involved in that care. Through sharing records, resources, and communication HealthHive gets everyone on the same page, reducing costs and increasing satisfaction.
Kinumi brings a bespoke concierge approach to helping active older adults manage their needs—so that they and their loved ones can get back to the joy of living.
MyFitPod has built a business in a box SaaS platform for local fitness pros to serve older adults.
For families juggling demanding jobs and care of loved ones, OndeCare connects thoroughly vetted professional caregivers who are incentivized to provide reliable, quality in-home care.
Ask Claire brings clarity and confidence to Medicare plan selection.
Vivo addresses the loss of strength and independence that every older adult faces. We provide online small group personal training that, unlike video or livestreamed classes, is a live and interactive 2-way experience. Our classes are designed to build strength and function through individualized feedback from a live trainer while also providing social engagement and building community.
Wave Therapeutics has developed the first affordable and effective smart cushioning technology to prevent bedsores, save lives, and reduce a significant healthcare burden for families and facilities alike.
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Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company, accelerates social progress in the United States. We remove barriers to equality and opportunity through investments, partnerships, and advocacy.
The Techstars worldwide network helps entrepreneurs succeed. Founded in 2006, Techstars began with three simple ideas—entrepreneurs create a better future for everyone, collaboration drives innovation, and great ideas can come from anywhere. Now we are on a mission to enable every person on the planet to contribute to, and benefit from, the success of entrepreneurs. In addition to operating accelerator programs and venture capital funds, we do this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to help build thriving startup communities. Techstars has invested in more than 2,500 companies with a combined market cap of more than $220B. www.techstars.com