MATTER awarded $50K to four startups at Accelerating Innovation in Aging demo day
Platform that enables older adults to privately record meaningful life stories from their home phone wins grand prize
August 9, 2022, CHICAGO — With support from RRF Foundation for Aging, MATTER, the premier healthcare incubator and innovation hub, has announced four winners of the inaugural Accelerating Innovation in Aging program. The eight-week accelerator focused on advancing solutions that leverage technology to empower human connections among older adults to help reduce social isolation and loneliness.
Meaningful connection is a fundamental part of what constitutes a good life and plays a critical role in our health and wellbeing at any age; however, the flip side of social connection is feelings of loneliness. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 25 percent of adults age 65 and older are socially isolated and 40 percent feel lonely. Additional research published in The Gerontologist suggests that remaining meaningfully engaged and having a stronger sense of purpose in life reduces feelings of loneliness and improves quality of life in older adults.
To address social isolation and loneliness in older adults, the Accelerating Innovation in Aging program provided nine startups access to mentorship, exclusive resources and interactive curriculum from subject matter experts to build their solutions and refine their value propositions. They were also exposed to the MATTER and RRF Foundation for Aging communities and potential investors, partners and clients.
“The program was highly educational, and the introductions MATTER provided and continues to provide have been nothing short of world-class,” said Cameron Graham, co-founder and CEO of Storii. “We’re absolutely delighted to have won the main prize and will look to use the funds toward a qualitative study on Storii’s impact on loneliness. Thank you to MATTER and RRF Foundation for Aging for the opportunity!”
“The program was highly educational, and the introductions MATTER provided and continues to provide have been nothing short of world-class.” —Cameron Graham, co-founder and CEO of Storii
“The workshops for the cohort were well thought out and delivered by experts, and the one-on-one sessions with a diverse set of experienced mentors were hugely valuable,” said Logan Ray, CEO of Aatlas. “Big thanks and kudos to RRF Foundation for Aging and MATTER for putting together such a thoughtful program and supporting early-stage businesses such as ours.”
The accelerator culminated in a final demo day on July 19 where the nine startups pitched their solutions for the opportunity to win up to $20,000. Storii, a platform that enables older adults to privately record meaningful life stories from their home phone, won the grand prize of $20,000 and three startups — Aatlas, ConnectCareHero and Zoog — each received $10,000 as runners-up. Additionally, each startup participant has received a free, six-month MATTER membership to continue to develop their solution.
“The ability to have direct communication with healthcare leaders in our specific space is super valuable for a company at our stage,” said Osvaldo Montelongo, founder and CEO of ConnectCareHero. “The winnings come at a time when we’re scaling our product across our customers, and we look to add more unique features to make our solution a market leader!”
“The ability to have direct communication with healthcare leaders in our specific space is super valuable for a company at our stage.” —Osvaldo Montelongo, founder and CEO of ConnectCareHero
“We were honored to be selected amongst the winners in the startup competition and look forward to using our award toward developing new and creative content for older adults,” said Yoav Oren, co-founder and CEO of Zoog.
Thank you to all of the startups and our partners, mentors and collaborators for participating in the accelerator. We attribute the success of the accelerator to the time and effort you dedicated to the program over the past few months.
At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 700 current and alumni startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.
About RRF Foundation for Aging
For more than 40 years, RRF Foundation for Aging, formerly The Retirement Research Foundation, has been funding programs that support older adults. The Foundation has awarded more than 5,000 grants worth more than $250 million — all dedicated to improving the quality of life for all of us as we age. RRF’s grantmaking focuses on four priority areas — caregiving, economic security in later life, housing and social and intergenerational connectedness. These issues are fundamental to allowing all of us to age where we want to and how we want to. RRF was one of the first private foundations to focus exclusively on aging issues and continues to support a range of advocacy, direct service, research, training and organizational capacity building efforts, both in Illinois and nationally. Learn more at www.rrf.org.