“Maybe it’s true that life begins at fifty. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.” ― Phyllis Diller
I went out to dinner Monday night with some friends and up until the minute I stood up to leave I felt just fine-even finer after that nice meal and a smooth bourbon. Unfortunately, the minute my feet hit the floor (okay, no short jokes about how they don’t reach the floor when I’m sitting at the table so it’s a long jump–yeah yeah, heard it all before), something in my hip went, “Oh Snap!” And in that split second I had one of those moments that all of us over 40 seem to have now and then where we go, “Uh oh, I think my warranty just expired.”
Turns out to be not that big a deal, but an unexpected hip injury sure makes one think about getting older and how much more of the healthcare system one is likely to see as time goes by (as it turns out, the alternative to aging is much worse: it is very hard to catch episodes of The Voice from the great beyond…or get a good bourbon with the optimal amount of ice).
Why should you care about the travails of “maturing,” you may ask, particularly if you are one of those twenty-something entrepreneur types? Well, given the fact that I am not the only one getting older and that the vast majority of healthcare costs are spent on those who have reached the age of 50 and above, this is an area of golden opportunity for entrepreneurs who have tossed their hat into the healthcare ring. Nearly 45% of American citizens are over age 50 and these people are spending 9-18% per year of their cold hard personal cash on healthcare-related products and services each year. If you are an entrepreneur, you should definitely want in on this action.
One of the best places to achieve this is at AARP’s Health Innovation@50+ event, which is taking place May 31, 2013 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Come on lucky seven, Venture Valkyrie needs a new pair of orthopedically-appropriate shoes and a cortisone injection!
AARP’s Health Innovation@50+ event is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs building businesses in the “50 and over” health technology and innovation sector to showcase their companies to a large audience of investors, media, and, most importantly AARP members–your target audience. AARP is currently seeking applicants to participate in the LivePitch event, where start-up companies targeting this sector compete for fame and fortune.
The call for applications for the 2013 AARP Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch, taking place Friday, May 31 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is now open. All companies considering applying should review the FAQ here. Application Deadline is Friday, April 12, 2013 so don’t wait until you’re Medicare-eligible to get cracking. Applying companies must meet these requirements:
- 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 May 31, 2013 event date
- Companies will not have raised more than $5 million in funding
I got the opportunity to serve as the emcee for this event last year and it was a blast. This year’s emcee is even better:–oh wait, it’s me again! Actually I’m pretty psyched to do this again and very flattered to be asked to return. It was a terrific event last year and I got to meet some excellent companies, including one who had built their beta product around a deranged guinea pig cartoon character, but even that was cool. The good news is that the “guinea pig” has now been replaced by an animal recognizable in nature and that even more interest has been generated for this event. If you are a healthcare start-up, this is a great place to show your stuff to AARP’s Innovation team and their applicant vetting committee members including:
- Joyce Dubow, Senior Health Care Reform Director, Office of Policy and Strategy, AARP
- Alicia Heazlitt, Director of Strategy, InnovateLTC
- John Hotta, Investor, Nayma Ventures
- Stephen Johnston, Founder, Aging2.0
- Nina Nashif, Founder & CEO, Healthbox
- Andrew J. Rosenthal, Business Development, UP, Jawbone
- Unity Stoakes, Co-founder and President, StartUp Health
- Brad Weinberg, MD, Founder, Blueprint Health, ShapeUp
If you are an investor, there are some really good companies to meet here and also a great opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, consumers, AARP and its partners. The event is worth attending for anyone who has an interest in the sector.
And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a legitimate business reason to go on a trip to Las Vegas? If you use the code VIP50 when you register you will get 50% off the fee to attend. You can use that savings to help me leverage my craps table bets. As an investor, you have to love Las Vegas–nothing like gambling to remind you about the true meaning of IRR.
Just for kicks, here is a nice video from last year’s event. I hope to see you at this year’s. I’ll be the one on stage next to the entrepreneurs. Please, no unripe tomatoes.