MATTER launches Accelerating Innovation in Aging program
Accelerator seeks technology-enabled solutions for reducing social isolation or loneliness in older adults
March 23, CHICAGO — With support from the RRF Foundation for Aging, MATTER, the premier healthcare incubator and innovation hub, today launched the inaugural Accelerating Innovation in Aging program to support entrepreneurs with solutions that reduce social isolation or loneliness in older adults.
Despite slowing population growth, America’s aging population is growing rapidly; it’s estimated that nearly one in four Americans will be age 65 or older by 2060, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the speed with which the population is aging may outpace the ability of today’s healthcare system to meet their evolving needs. Fortunately, the rise of new technologies can affect behaviors that are key predictors of longevity and graceful aging, including having a sense of purpose and maintaining social connections.
“For more than 40 years, RRF Foundation for Aging has been a steadfast supporter of programs and research that significantly improve the quality of life for older people,” said Mary O’Donnell, president of RRF Foundation for Aging. “Looking to the future, we have a growing interest in efforts that leverage technology as a practical tool to advance this mission. Our partnership with MATTER provides an exciting opportunity to break down silos between the fields of aging and technology, by encouraging entrepreneurs to develop technology-enabled solutions for reducing social isolation and loneliness in older adults.”
The accelerator asks: How can we leverage technology-enabled innovation to empower human connections among older adults to help reduce social isolation or loneliness?
We are seeking solutions that address one or both of the following tracks:
1. Meaningful connectedness: Innovations that leverage the life experience of older adults to reduce isolation while providing the opportunity to contribute with meaning and purpose
2. Intergenerational relationships: Innovations that enable relationships that span across generations into older adults’ networks to help mitigate loneliness.
This eight-week, cohort-based accelerator will provide participants access to mentorship, exclusive resources and interactive curriculum from subject matter experts to build their solutions and refine their value propositions. In addition to exposure to the RRF Foundation for Aging and MATTER communities and potential investors, partners and clients, accelerator participants will have the opportunity to win a free, six-month MATTER membership and up to $20,000.
“Opportunities to harness technology to enhance the lives of older adults dwarf the amount of innovation actually focused on this population,” said MATTER CEO Steven Collens. “Through this initiative, MATTER and the RRF Foundation for Aging will encourage more entrepreneurship and innovation to address social isolation and loneliness, identify great entrepreneurs with a passion for this space and give companies participating in our accelerator the resources they need to be more successful.”
Interested startups can learn more and apply by visiting the accelerator page. Applications are due April 29, 2022, at 11:59pm CT.
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.
At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 275 cutting-edge 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.