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Making aging easier

December 3, 2013
by Richard R. Rogoski
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Designing products and services that can enhance the lives of aging adults, as well as finding innovative ways to improve long-term care, is becoming more important as millions of Americans are already in—or will soon be entering—their Golden Years.

As a way to encourage and support those who are working to improve the lives of senior citizens, an initial group of 11 entrepreneurs who have started companies focused on aging-related products or services has been chosen for a program named GENerator.

The program was spun out of Aging2.0, an international organization that was founded in 2012 by Katy Fike, PhD, and Stephen Johnston, MBA. Aging2.0 is dedicated to accelerating innovations that can improve the lives of older adults by bringing together technologists, designers, long-term care providers and investors at regularly held events. Since its founding, Aging2.0 has held 30 events in 10 cities in three countries.

With the advent of the GENerator program, many hope that better access to the program's 75-plus mentors and better access to early-stage funding will increase research and development efforts.

GENerator's inaugural six-month program is being held at San Francisco's Institute of the Aging so that entrepreneurs can work closely with those for whom they are designing products or launching services.

The 11 early-stage companies chosen for the inaugural GENerator founders program:

  • BrainAid, a software development company specializing in smartphone and tablet apps;
  • CareLinx, an online marketplace for finding qualified in-home caregivers;
  • CareSolver, a company that activates, educates and supports family caregivers;
  • Life2, a healthcare focused predictive analytics company focused on risk mitigation;
  • Lift Hero, a company that provides transportation to medical appointments;
  • Live!y, a company that provides seniors with activity sensors and a social sharing platform;
  • MyGrove, a multimedia marketplace and social engagement platform tailored for active adults and their communities;
  • OpenPlacement, a company that uses a Web application to replace manual research;
  • Sabi, a company that rethinks the most commonly used products and tools and redesigns them especially for seniors;
  • Tapestry, a tablet and Web app that allows seniors to better connect with family, friends, services and the communities in which they live; and
  • True Link, a company that provides monetary security by issuing caregiver-managed debit card accounts with personalized spending controls.