MATTER selects two winners at 2023 Accelerating Innovation in Aging Demo Day
Two solutions that support unpaid caregivers won $20K
November 17, 2023, CHICAGO — With support from RRF Foundation for Aging, MATTER, the premier healthcare incubator and innovation hub, has announced the winners of the second annual Accelerating Innovation in Aging program.
Earlier this year, MATTER, with support from RRF Foundation for Aging, launched the second year of Accelerating Innovation in Aging, with a focus on supporting unpaid caregivers. Tens of millions of U.S. adults are family caregivers, and they’re frequently overwhelmed with navigating and juggling the disparate and perplexing responsibilities of caregiving — all while trying to maintain their own self-care and manage personal responsibilities (AARP and The National Alliance for Caregiving).
This year’s Accelerating Innovation in Aging program provided six caregiving startups — CareYaya, Family Proud, Onward, SandwYch, TCARE and Zinnia — 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 accelerator culminated in a final demo day in October where the cohort pitched their solutions for the opportunity to win up to $10,000. Onward — a comprehensive healthcare transportation solution for older adult communities, hospitals and health plans — and Zinnia — a therapeutic dementia care platform to support caregivers — tied for the grand prize. The two companies received a $10,000 cash award as a result. Additionally, each cohort participant received a complimentary, six-month MATTER membership to continue to advance their solutions and companies.
“We are grateful to MATTER and RRF Foundation for Aging for helping to support and raise visibility for startups addressing the caregiving challenges in the U.S.,” said Kim Petty, co-founder and CEO of Onward. “Hearing from and connecting with experts from the MATTER community has helped us to refine our approach and identify new prospects. The award will help us to advance our work to build cultural competence into the rider-companion driver relationship, building on our mission to eradicate transportation as a barrier to healthcare.”
“We had a fantastic experience with the program,” said Bill Uniowski, co-founder and CEO of Zinnia. “The curriculum, presenters and mentors were of the highest quality and fully engaged during the program. We especially valued the ability and willingness to have individual follow up meetings with them to discuss key issues for our business. Additionally, the teams from MATTER and RRF Foundation for Aging offered great support throughout the experience. We are grateful for the cash award, which will be put toward our latest customer acquisition initiative.”
Thank you to all of the startups and our partners, mentors and collaborators for participating in the accelerator.
At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 800 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 in the U.S. dedicated to aging issues and continues to support a range of related advocacy, direct service, research, training, and organizational capacity-building efforts, both in Illinois and nationally. Learn more at www.rrf.org.