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How 10 Start-ups Are Transforming Care for Older Adults

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The number of older Americans is rising quickly, and there aren’t enough innovative solutions to meet their needs. This is a major problem for our society, but one we can work to solve. It’s also a billion-dollar investment opportunity for founders and investors.

That’s where our partnership with Techstars comes in. Announced today, the 2021 class of the Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator is cultivating creative solutions to address the unmet needs of older adults and their caregivers. The program is run in partnership with Pivotal Ventures and is now in its second year.

From creating fitness solutions catered to the aging population to providing on-demand care for older adults, the start-ups in the class of 2021 are rising to the caregiving challenge.

The accelerator program offers company founders hands-on mentorship, financial support, and access to investors. Over the course of the next 13 weeks, founders will build strong relationships with leaders in the longevity space and develop an expansive mentor network.

Ultimately, our goal is to transform a space that is ripe for disruption and improve the lives of millions of people.

A Stagnant, Outdated System

For decades, the caregiving system in our country has failed to keep up with changing demographics.

Just consider the following statistics:

  • An estimated 73 million people are part of the baby boomer generation, and an average of 10,000 people in the U.S. turn age 65 every day.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2034, for the first-time ever, there will be more adults over 65 than children under 18.
  • A recent report found that 48 million people in the United States—mostly women—care for another adult, usually a relative.

The pandemic exacerbated the flaws in the system. Social distancing and lockdowns were especially hard for aging adults, who are already more likely to struggle with isolation. Women left the workforce in record numbers to take on unpaid caregiving duties, like tending to a sick parent or taking on the bulk of child care.

We can help older Americans and their caregivers thrive by offering products and services that make their lives easier and better. In doing so, we’ll also reap enormous economic benefit—because the care sector is filled with untapped market potential.

A $390 billion Innovation Opportunity

According to The Investor’s Guide to the Care Economy: Four Dynamic Areas of Growth, caring for older Americans is a $390 billion innovation opportunity, and the demand is only going to grow.

In 2019, even before the pandemic, Americans spent $151 billion caring for aging adults at home. These costs include things like retrofitting homes, telehealth, meal services, transportation and medication management.

If we invest more in caregiving solutions that help adults age in their homes, we’ll see even bigger returns.

Rising to the Challenge: The Future of Longevity Accelerator

Last year, Pivotal Ventures partnered with Techstars, a global seed accelerator, to launch the Future of Longevity Accelerator to help scale the most promising startups offering caregiving solutions for older adults in a multi-year, multi-class program. Since the conclusion of the 2020 program, four alumni companies have already raised at least $2 million.

The 10 start-ups in the class of 2021 will focus on a broad subset of issues, including aging in place, caregiver support, care coordination, preventive health, and social engagement.

The 2021 accelerator will be primarily virtual and culminate in Demo Day in February 2022. Founders will pitch their refined company vision and showcase their progress to investors, strategic partners, and prospective customers.

By unlocking new markets, developing new products, and designing solutions for modern families, the class of 2021 is helping reimagine the future of longevity—one in which everyone has access to quality care solutions and adults can age with comfort and joy, rather than stress and hardship.

Learn more about the class of 2021 here.

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