Between 2015 and 2060, the number of individuals over the age of 65 years will double and the number of individuals over the age of 80 years will triple, representing the largest demographic shift the U.S. has seen. At the same time, the expenses of retirement and aging elude a large swath of the population. Thirty-five million Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964 and on the cusp of, if not already in, retirement, lack any retirement savings and only 27% think they’ll have enough money to cover healthcare expenses as they age.
Socioeconomic status (SES) plays a large role in an individual’s health and the quality of their aging experience. For example, poverty increases the likelihood of a functional limitation in adults over the age of 60 years. As more individuals age out of the traditional workforce with limited resources, there is an urgent need for solutions that change the passive aging narrative and facilitate the three components of successful aging – function, health status, and social inclusion – for individuals, regardless of SES.
Scalable, cost effective solutions are needed that go well beyond the clinic and tackle the myriad of non-medical issues that affect successful aging in communities. Economic, social, and environmental factors all have an impact on healthy aging.
Village Capital has teamed up with Kaiser Permanente to run Health: US 2018, a unique venture diligence program focused on cultivating early-stage companies solving critical issues for an aging population. While all ventures with aging-related solutions are encouraged to apply, we are especially interested in tech-enabled services that do the following:
- Enable aging in place;
- Create workforce opportunities for an aging population and tap into the potential latency of seniors;
- Plan and communicate an individual’s last wishes;
- Decrease isolation and increase social engagement;
- Improve the social, emotional, and/or educational support for caregivers;
- Improve access to health services;
- Assist in managing the financials, such as paying bills and handling investments and social security, for the individual as they age and/or for the designated caregiver; or
- Find and organize affordable, quality support services, such as transportation, caregiving, cleaning, and meal preparation.
To be eligible for consideration, applicants must also have the following:
- At least one full-time team member,
- A minimum viable product, and
- Meaningful customer traction or business validation (not necessarily defined as revenue, can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships).
Over the course of Health: US 2018, participating ventures will be supported through tailored engagements with potential strategic partners and investors, while leveraging the collective knowledge of the cohort of participating entrepreneurs. Frequently, a startup’s biggest need is validation from customers and relationships with key partners to help them navigate scaling into large health organizations and/or across diverse geographies with unique customer and end-user needs. Health: US 2018 will streamline this process, helping ventures connect with decision-makers across the healthcare value chain, including Kaiser Permanente, enabling these conversations to happen early and often.
At the end of the diligence program, two peer-selected ventures will receive $75,000 USD in investment capital from VilCap Investments.
Program Dates and Locations:
Workshop 1: March 27-30, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Workshop 2: May 8-11, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA
Workshop 3: June 12-15, 2018 in San Francisco, CA
Applications close December 13, 2017.