Out of 90 entrants, eight startups were chosen to compete in the pitch competition with one shared goal — creating a solution that increases social connection.
The entrepreneurs competed on Eureka Park’s Start Up Stage for the chance to be a f inalist at AARP’s grand pitch finale this fall. Each company had three minutes to present how their product reduces social isolation for the aging community. Each entrepreneur was also asked questions ranging from manufacturing costs and business strategies to product roadmaps and milestones by industry experts Denise Gibson, chair and co-founder of Ice Mobility; Andy Miller, SVP for Innovation at AARP; and Allyson Plosko, sector manager for health at Village Capital. After the presentations, the audience voted for Healium and Waverly Labs.
StoryUP’s Healium was developed by CEO Sarah Hill to help herself deal with areas of confined stress and realized this could also help others, such as veterans. These individuals could use their emotions to visit places in the virtual world, where ordinarily they could not go physically as a therapeutic way to reduce stress and experience the world.
Founder and CEO of Waverly Labs, Andrew Ochoa previously worked in groups where colleagues were in other countries and often communicated in different languages. Ochoa and his team created the sophisticated “smart, translating earbuds” that can translate 15 languages and 42 dialects in 1.5 to 2 seconds called Pilot.
Shark Tank’s Daymond John and AARP’s Jo Ann Jenkins also had a fireside chat where they discussed how technology is now a resource that can enhance each aspect of a person’s life at different stages, especially those 50 and older. Jenkins explained AARP’s focus is on the future and the value the 60-year-old organization can provide for its 38 million members.
The CTA Foundation is excited to build on this success, promote innovations and address the needs of older adults and people with disabilities. To learn how you can support this important work, visit: SupportCTAF.org.
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