PS Salon & Spa was founded in 2008 to transform the typical senior community “beauty shop” in a professional salon and spa experience. For the past 11 years the company has experienced consistent growth thanks to the unwavering commitment they have to their customers. There are currently more than 900 PS locations in 37 states with 1,600 employees who, as of January 2019, have performed 5 million salon and spa services for senior community residents. According to PS CEO and Co-Founder John Polatz, the company’s culture is rooted in their core values of People, Empathy and Respect, and their success can be attributed to the meaningful relationships they have built with families and residents alike: “The biggest lesson we have learned is to know exactly who your customer is and develop your model accordingly. If the customer isn’t happy or doesn’t feel connected to your product, you cannot succeed.”
PS is also a believer in the power of partnerships to drive growth and establish trust. In January 2018, they partnered with Paul Mitchell, the global and highly-respected hair care company. Both companies realized that their values were aligned and that they shared a four decade relationship with this demographic. Paul Mitchell grew in popularity in the early 1980s, and some of those original Paul Mitchell customers are 70-80 years old and customers of PS today. When those customers are searching for a trusted brand name, Paul Mitchell comes to mind and so PS can reassure customers that the products PS uses and the training PS professionals receive are coming from the brand they have trusted for decades.
One of the company’s priorities is to provide the highest-quality service to their customers which includes older adult residents in independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care settings. PS is uniquely positioned to reach both the resident customer as well as the family member and loved ones of that older adult by engaging in a dialogue with those individuals about authorization of salon services, especially when a resident may be experiencing cognitive decline that prevents them from expressing their preferences. Furthermore, PS took another step toward facilitating engagement between residents and families launching this year their revolutionary “PS Celebration Accounts”, which allow loved ones to be a direct participant in the resident’s salon service by providing an avenue for contributing money toward their experience. Family members and loved ones can go to the PS website and contribute money to a resident’s salon account and receive a digital message when the funds are used. This satisfies a longing in family members to find a way to connect with the resident when they don’t live nearby or don’t have the time to visit as often as they’d like. There are now thousands of family members who have peace of mind by using this feature which is more than just a practical transaction solution but a way to connect families to residents emotionally and culturally in a convenient way.
There are new opportunities for innovation and growth in the field that PS is currently pursing. The company has started to build partnerships with resident engagement technology solutions for senior communities so that PS is listed as a service and connection point on those platforms. Technology adoption isn’t always strong in senior communities, so offering a way for a resident to access their PS account and manage their salon services digitally can help increase user engagement for the resident engagement technologies. In the near future, PS plans evaluation opportunities to expand Celebration Accounts to include more than just PS salon services and products. Eventually the accounts may allow family members to buy other types of products and services of interest to residents in a digital marketplace where PS acts as an affiliate or direct representative for other product solutions in this space.
With almost 30 years of health care experience, Katie Guhr has spent the last thirteen years with profit and loss responsibility over Medicare Advantage products. Katie was most recently with Centene Corporation where she was the interim Medicare CEO, focusing on growth, organizational structure, compliance, quality, strategy, product and sales and marketing.
Earlier this month, Katie joined a panel of experts at the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit for a session on Payments, Pilots and Partnerships in the longevity market. She shared with Mary Furlong & Associates three of the most important takeaways from that session. First, the Medicare Advantage space is a large and rapidly growing market. Estimates suggest it could reach 70% market penetration by the year 2040. The largest Medicare Advantage players today according to national membership statistics released by CMS in June are, UnitedHealth Group, Inc, Humana Inc., CVS Health Corporation, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Anthem Inc. Anthem was one of the first companies to introduce the concept of social determinants of health benefits for plan year 2019.
Second, payers in this space are excited about the growth and they need innovative partners to deliver services to members that both delight them and ensure a good user experience. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, entrepreneurs need to approach payers and investors with a clear value proposition that they can articulate in a succinct way that is supported with evidence and case studies from the field. “When you speak the language of the investor or payer it means they will have a clear understanding of your product’s value and the potential partnership path will be clear,” Katie shared.
Reflecting on her time at the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit and the value it has in the field, Katie shared her enthusiasm for the innovation that was showcased during the two-day event. She found it impressive to see that so many organizations are entering the longevity space and using their imaginations to explore what the possibilities can be for serving older adults. She finds that Summits like this one can spark imagine when it comes to reinterpreting what care can look like.
Beyond the in-depth breakout sessions offered, Katie found that the Summit competitions were particularly engaging and the companies pitching were of a high caliber. In her work, Katie is seeing seniors who are working longer, not just for a paycheck but for a sense of purpose and so she was pleased to see Work at Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE) move on as a finalist in the Silicon Valley Innovation Competition sponsored by AARP Innovation Labs. Another important theme from the Summit was the growing importance of in-home monitoring as seniors want to stay home longer during their healthcare journey to avoid the expenses associated with hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.
As an expert in the longevity field, Katie had some important words of wisdom for innovators and entrepreneurs who are just entering the longevity marketplace. First, take the time to get to know the population you are interested in serving. Make sure your innovation addresses a real need. Listen to the stories of your potential customers and spend time in senior communities and with providers. When you put in this kind of effort, investors will see your business as authentic and your pitch to them will ring true because you will have collected evidence about your product’s workability. Second, entrepreneurs need to keep in mind that they are entering a highly regulated and compliant system. So along with having a passion to serve the beneficiary in this system, companies should take the time to learn about the underlying layer of regulation that exists.
With more than 30 years of investment banking experience in the senior living industry, Dan Hermann, President, CEO and Head of Investment Banking at Ziegler (www.ziegler.com), understands the longevity economy like few others. He knows the ins and outs, the barriers to entry and the key challenges providers face. He also knows the immense potential the $7.6 trillion economic sector yields for both entrepreneurs and investors.
Ziegler has built an extensive network of alliances that keeps the national boutique investment bank dialed into promising emerging companies in the longevity space, scouring the showroom floors at major tech conferences and trade shows like CES and HIMSS for potential investment partners. The firm manages the Ziegler Link·Age Funds, LP, a joint venture that, to date, has invested in 24 companies providing solutions along the aging services continuum.
“At Ziegler, we’re interacting with care providers in the health system and senior living settings, as well as home care, on a daily, hourly and minute-to-minute basis,” he said. “We’re partnering with the companies that emerge with groundbreaking solutions that then grow, raise capital and are often enticed to merge or sell to the bigger strategic players. We’re in the flow and more integrated than just about any investment bank.”
Read below for more insights from one of the key investment leaders in the longevity economy.
How important is continued innovation in the senior living and longevity arena?
We’re in a capitalistic system where disruptive innovation gets rewarded and attracts capital - the health care system is no different. It’s approximately 20% of the economy...is immensely expensive and growing at a rate two to three times inflation.
So, it’s ripe for innovation. This can come from continued value-added services that provide and extend care. There are tech-enabled services that will save money through acceleration, elimination of waste and so forth. Then there’s new disruption that leads to broadened areas of care and experience - an incremental new element like virtual reality. It’s becoming beyond novel for the senior living marketplace...it actually helps reduce loneliness and create emotional engagement, giving seniors experiences that they couldn’t accomplish on their own. Companies like Embodied Labs are booming with virtual reality right now.
What do you look for when investing in a company?
Ideally, they’ll be adding clear, incremental new value, usually focused on at least one point solution. PayActiv, for example, improves the process of getting cash to employees instead of them getting (high interest rate) credit cards or payday loans. It’s very affordable, and we knew our senior living clients would pursue it.
We look for a long enough runway, with limited competition, to give a company time to grow. And then we look for quality management teams that are led by passionate leaders who understand how to grow a company with third-party venture capital and private equity.
We also look for partner investors that bring strategic input to table.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the aging/longevity space that are seeking funding?
It’s rare that the companies we invest in need regulatory approval, so that makes our area much easier.
Prior to looking for your first institutional capital, you want to have your product refined, be in market with a start of clients beyond the pilot stage and have an understanding of how you plan to grow the company through incremental new sales within the space. The bigger you can build the real client base, the easier it becomes because then it’s about scaling.
And be aware of the competitive environment. While you’re working on your solution, don’t be naive. There might be a company in Boston and a company in California working on the same thing, trying to solve the same problem.
What’s the benefit for entrepreneurs and investors in attending events like the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit?
When done well, it’s a great opportunity to bring together like-minded organizations that have the same interests.
Mary (Furlong) has a good understanding of entrepreneurs that are emerging in the aging services space. The companies that participate in her events typically have a very legitimate point solution or new service that adds unique value to the sector. She also does a great job maintaining relationships with companies that previously participated and have grown and can provide guidance to others.
It’s a good matchmaking effort that always leads to an engaging conference.
It’s a long and winding path from conceiving a solution to a problem and turning that idea into a marketable product, but it is plenty doable with the right amounts of determination, expertise and support. Entrepreneurs and innovators who are uncertain how to navigate the process might consider taking cues from Carrie Shaw, CEO and Founder of Embodied Labs.
Embodied Labs has developed an immersive learning system that uses virtual reality (VR) to simulate challenges and scenarios faced by older adults and their caregivers. The company creates research-based VR experiences that give caregivers and others a first-person glimpse at specific conditions, and helps caregivers navigate interactions with those who have the conditions. Embodied Labs offers a growing catalogue of experiences, or labs, that address such conditions as Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease and macular degeneration. The goal is to offer caregivers a holistic perspective on how certain conditions affect brain activity.
And, as is sometimes the case, the platform’s origins are rooted in the founder’s personal life experience. When Shaw was 19, her mother – only in her 40s – was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. “My relationship to my mom’s illness was to avoid it because I didn’t really know how to be helpful,” she said. But, as time progressed, Shaw became her mother’s caregiver. She also earned a degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and joined the Peace Corps, serving as a health education volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Around the same time, she learned about medical illustration as a potential career option and decided to pursue a master’s degree in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago. While Shaw doesn’t consider herself “a techie,” she met a fellow student, Thomas Leahy, who was focused on human-computer interaction, specifically through VR.
Shaw’s personal life and educational path were converging. She and her sister, Erin Washington, along with Leahy, founded Embodied Labs in 2016, the same year she graduated from UIC. The next step for the newly minted business owners was to secure funding – and, like most start-ups, Shaw said they took “...a lot of interesting, crafty paths to stay afloat.” The group leveraged personal networks and found willing investors in friends, advisors and others. They also found success with pitch competitions such as Creative Startups Winston-Salem and USC’s VR Hackathon Challenge, and they received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The group funneled all of the money into product development and took the platform to market in early 2018, with a narrow focus on home care and senior housing. Sales were solid, which helped the company close additional pre-seed investment funding. The group also kept traveling to events to speak, network and pitch their platform to industry experts who provided valuable feedback and a pipeline to additional capital.
One such event was The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s XR in Education Prize Challenge, which netted the company the $250,000 grand prize. Another was the AARP Innovation Labs Pitch Competition, held during last year’s Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit, which is hosted annually by Mary Furlong & Associates. The group won the competition, and Mary Furlong also connected them with venture capital and investment firms that have since backed the company.
Embodied Labs has raised more than $1 million in seed funding to date and now has more than 100 subscribers and counting. The company has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), among other well-known national media outlets.
Shaw advises entrepreneurs starting where she did a few years ago to remember that the product itself is only part of the equation. Other crucial success factors are having the right business model and infrastructure, and connecting with the right people.
“Create an ecosystem that supports the topics your business is involved in,” she said. “Really, the world is small once you start building a web of people that can contribute to your business.”
“I have always carried in my head images of the women I’ve met, and I keep photographs of the ones who have moved me the most.”
– Melinda Gates, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World
One reason that the 16th Annual Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit and Business Plan Competition stands out in the longevity field is that it intentionally shines a light each year on the women investors and entrepreneurs that use their insights and innovations to grow this marketplace. Forbes recently reported that between 2007 and 2018, the growth rate of businesses owned by women achieving revenue of more than $1million exceeded the rate of business growth in general. This type of success comes as no surprise, especially when this year’s Summit agenda is packed with women achieving great things in their businesses and beyond:
When you register for next month’s Summit at the Claremont Hotel and Spa in Berkeley, California on June 5th and 6th , you are signing up to spend quality time with these inspiring women. The women speakers, sponsors and exhibitors at our event are those who are making strides when it comes to design, innovation and investment in the longevity marketplace every single day.
Early bird registration rates are limited, reserve your seat today.
WASHINGTON DC – November 16, 2018 – The 2018 Washington Innovation in Longevity Summit features two days of curated programming, with day one focused on Global Health Partnerships and day two on the Longevity Market Entrepreneur and the Regulatory Environment. This first annual event is produced by Mary Furlong and Associates, with more than 30 successful annual events focused on the Longevity markets.
Highlights of the Washington Innovation in Longevity Summit include:
“We launched this event in Washington because innovation happens here. Our clients are competing globally and this is the perfect location to connect entrepreneurs with investors and regulators who influence their future success. The regulatory agencies and nonprofit organizations have a direct impact on the scalability of innovation in this market. We want to continue to foster conversations between the entrepreneurs, their investors, government regulators, the media, and NGOs,” said Mary Furlong, Producer of the Summit. “This two-day conference will bring attendees up to speed with innovation in the technology for older adults and highlight the thought leaders. As with all of our events, this is where deals get done and lessons are shared.”
Session & Agenda Information
The 2018 event is divided into two days. December 10th is focused on Global Partnerships in Health and Aging and is co-hosted by Dr. Allison Sekuler, who is joining us from Canada, where CABHI is located on the Baycrest campus. Sessions will focus on entrepreneurs, investment, and innovation. December 11th the focus is Where the Longevity Entrepreneur Meets the Regulatory Environment. Panels will focus on caregiving, health & retail, aging in place, voice-first technology, and much more.
The full agenda is available here. Register here to attend.
Sponsors for the 1st Annual Washington Innovation in Longevity Summit are:
Platinum: AARP, Centre for Aging + Brain Health and Innovation, Starkey Hearing Technologies
Gold: Ageless Innovation, Carelinx, The Because Market
Silver: GreatCall, Honor, It's Never 2 Late, LifeSite, LifePod, Livpact, Posit Science, Silvernest, Sodexo and UrLoop
Bronze: Work at Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE)
About Mary Furlong /Mary Furlong & Associates
Founded in 2003, Mary Furlong & Associates (MFA) is a strategy, business development, marketing, and public relations strategic communications firm headquartered in San Francisco. Previously, Mary founded SeniorNet in l986 and ThirdAge Media in l996. She won the ASA Leadership Award, was profiled as one of Fortune Small Business Top 25, and Time Digital Top 50. In 2011, Mary received an award as one of the top 100 Women of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and is also the author of "Turning Silver into Gold: How to Profit in the New Boomer Marketplace”. For the past 15 years, Mary has produced the industry-leading What's Next Boomer Business Summit and the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit. She has appeared on NBC, CBS, and NPR and is an advisor to the Ziegler Link•age Longevity Fund, LP.
About Lori Bitter/The Business of Aging
Lori K. Bitter provides strategic consulting, research and development for companies seeking to engage with mature consumers at her consultancy The Business of Aging. She was named a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging in 2017, and her book, The Grandparent Economy debuted in 2015. She was president of J. Walter Thompson’s Boomer division, JWT BOOM, the nation’s leading mature market advertising and marketing company and led that firm’s annual Boomer marketing event for five years. A sought‐after speaker, Lori has presented research, trends, and analysis about mature consumers and the longevity marketplace. Her latest research, Hacking Longevity, was released in 2018. She serves on the board of Bridges Together, and the Innovation Advisory Board of Xverity, Inc.
When Best Buy agreed to buy GreatCall for $800 million, it was a resounding endorsement of the vision of David Inns and the GreatCall Team, who together have led the San Diego firm to national leadership in connected health for active aging.
That vision has led GreatCall to impressive growth through its offerings of mobile products and connected devices that support safety, independence and peace of mind. Earlier this year, Inns shared some of his views on what companies must do to succeed in the aging space.
Know your consumer: Older consumers are a diverse group, Inns pointed out, with great differences in their health, tech savvy and social engagement.
To thrive in the longevity marketplace, companies must ask: “Who is the consumer, and what is the problem we’re trying to solve?” he said. “You need a clear view, not broad strokes. There are too many groups within that population to say you can create one solution to a problem they all are facing equally.”
“I would rather go deeper in a shallower pond than to fish in the ocean on the surface.”
Be careful with pricing: But defining the consumer market is only part of the challenge. “Once you understand the market you’re going after, what kind of a price are you going to charge?” he asked. A big mistake that some companies make is letting technology set the price, without considering the realities of the consumer.
“They make the price driven by technology, instead of by the consumer. If you’re selling to a retired senior at Best Buy, you don’t want the price to be $399. You want the price to be $49 or $99. …You’ve got to think about price points.”
Technology is an experience: And price is just part of the equation, critical as it is. Companies that wish to succeed in the longevity market must think broadly about consumer needs and preferences. Solutions dreamed up by entrepreneurs that are shaped by technology – but do not fit into the way older adults wish to live or that they find hard to adopt – are not going to work.
While that may sound obvious, it is often overlooked. “It happens everywhere,” Inns said “It happens in Silicon Valley, and it happens in the tech corridors of Boston and New York. If you approach this market thinking of the technology (first) and then work your way back to the consumer, it’s hard to succeed.”
Customer support is crucial: Winning over older consumers also requires excellent, accessible service that truly meets their needs. Technology can be a great way to foster independence and security. But using the technology must be an easy experience for older adults, if they are to accept it and gain its benefits.
That makes it crucial to provide accessible, user-friendly customer service.
Out of some 1,200 GreatCall employees, more than 800 provide customer support, Inns said.
As examples, GreatCall wearable technologies come with:
B2B has a bright future: While a consumer-first focus has helped drive GreatCall’s growth, the company also has been expanding its B2B efforts in recent years, such as through technologies that help Managed Care companies detect changes in their daily activities that would suggest a health issue is arising that could affect that person’s indepdenence if it is not addressed.
Looking to the future, the rapidly growing older population represents a giant marketplace for industries that can benefit from connected health devices and remote monitoring. These industries, such as senior living and managed care, have financial incentives to help keep people healthy and independent, and technology offers them cost-saving solutions.
It also can fill a gap for adults who do not have family caregivers, and the older population is projected to have fewer family caregivers to support it in future years. Inns notes that in-home monitoring can provide data that point to changes in behavior. Such changes may flag health risks, and spotting them may prompt interventions that prevent costly health care episodes.
In the conversation, he said that in the last few years GreatCall’s B2B business had soared from “zero” to over 10 percent of company revenues “and is accelerating fast.”
Striving for quality: Asked who he prefers to work with when it comes to business deals, Inns focused on his goal of making GreatCall’s offerings even better. “I want to deal with companies that can really help us improve our product and service offerings or expand them, particularly in the B2B space.”
And he highlighted the importance of working with individuals who have the best motivations: “Trustworthy and ethical people who are in the business for the right reasons.”
The 14th Annual What's Next Boomer Business Summit was a huge success! In fact, this year we sold out. Most of the segments of the Longevity Marketplace attending the gathering and networked with one another by sharing the latest research about the size and trends of this rapidly expanding market.
It was inspiring to have Joe Mansueto, founder of Morningstar, Inc., share lessons of how to build and grow a successful business. He alluded to the need to focus on aspects of the business that can truly be scaled and shared how he developed a B2B and B2C strategy.
Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice President of Market Innovation at AARP, gave us a brilliant perspective on how the longevity market can be defined as a political economy. And, Jeff Zimman, Co-Founder of Posit Science shared the key elements of winning and what can be learned from quarterbacks like Tom Brady.
There were many "how to" breakout sessions this year, each with strong panels that gave us a perspective on what works - such as Kevin O'Brien, an Account Manager at Google, with his examples of YouTube clips (6 seconds) that use humor to drive engagement. The investor panel shared very specific trends about who is investing in what and at what level and how to pitch. Pitching companies this year were Heal, Inc, CCD Innovation Inc., and BlueStar HonorCare. As always, there was a ton of energy around Speed Dealing and people over the age of 50.
Dr. Charlotte Yeh, Chief Medial Officer for AARP Services, offered very interesting insights about the new frontiers in consumer engagement. She describes the phenomenon of "not aging in place, its thriving in motion." She described how in the just two days time, approximately 20,000 in the U.S. will turn 65 and how the number of individuals over the age of 85 is the fastest growing segment of the population followed by those over the age of 100. Taken together, this population represents $7.6 trillion in annual economic activity according to the Oxford Economics Report for AARP (2016). She invited the audience to think about "if vitality was the new norm." This would lead us to think about this phase of life as one of personal growth. She shared we are going from a focus on medical conditions to a focus on social conditions. From patient to person focused. From managing health care plans to co-designing a life plan. And finally from prescribing treatment to prescribing purpose.
Another speaker, Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, shared new trends driving the longevity marketplace in health and wealth . Colin pointed to the new models that will need to be developed. He pointed to key sectors expected to benefit significantly with the New Models -- service robotics, health education and skills, wellness, personal and autonmous transport, cosmetics and fashion, tourism, smart homes for independent living, and banking and relevant financial products. One of our SCU graduates worked for a while in the corporate world, and now she has launched a very successful newsletter and coaching practice for health and nutrition. I am about to sign up for the coaching. We will have access to global experts who can help us on our wellness journey and use technology to chart our progress.
I was thrilled to have Jeff Bennett, CEO of higi, at the Summit as well. I use the higi station all the time at Rite Aide to monitor my blood pressure, weight and pulse. I am fortunate to have a great park across the street to walk before this check up. Higi is the wave of the future.
Thank you to our Summit Participants, Sponsors, Exhibitors, Marketing Partners and Speakers who made this year's Boomer Summit the best yet! Don't forget to save the date for the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit on July 20th!
AARP Health Innovation@50+ Live Pitch
I recently attended the 5th Annual Health Innovation@50+ Live Pitch event in Sunnyvale, CA. Held at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, the heart of the Silicon Valley, the AARP Live Pitch event focused on Caregiving and its different aspects, including how technology has empowered caregivers, how that technology can be made available to a greater number of caregivers at an affordable cost, and the opportunities for startups in the caregiving space.
You can stream the sessions, including the compelling keynote from Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer for AARP, and Alexandra Drane, Founder and Chair of the Board at Eliza Corporation, regarding the deeply personal and immensely emotional issue of caregiving, by linking the Live Pitch on the AARP website.
We are so proud of our friends at SingFit for winning the Consumers Choice award. Their SingFit PRIME, a scalable musical solution for healthy aging and dementia care, was voted Most Innovative Company by an audience made up of AARP members, caregivers and Silicon Valley insiders. Congratulations, Rachel and Andy!
What Else You Should Know About
In March 2016 we hosted the 13th Annual What’s Next Boomer Business Summit in Washington DC for more than 300 attendees. We have come to expect the highest caliber industry experts as our keynotes, on our panels, and as our judges. Believe me, this year was no exception.
The What’s Next Summit was a treasure trove of content, insights, strategy and connection about marketing and business development for the longevity marketplace.
The keynotes were powerful and insightful beginning with AARP CEO, JoAnne Jenkins, who inspired us with her plan to Disrupt Aging from her new popular book. John Zogby shared insights about the differences between boomers and their millennial offspring and the current state of the economy today. He shared that millennials will have three jobs by the time they are 30 and likely 11 jobs by the time they are 40. He talked about the rise of entrepreneurship and the independent sector. Over 40 percent of the population will be independent contractors by 2010. They will be doing jobs as ride services like Uber, Lyft, and SilverRide, or engaging in businesses like Airbnb, the short-term-stay broker; task brokers like TaskRabbit and Fiverr; on-demand delivery services like Postmates and Favor; and grocery-shopping services like Instacart.
One of the most successful sessions we ran was Speed Dealing. 20+ entrepreneurs lined up, face-to-face with distribution partners and corporate and angel investors. The entrepreneurs had two minutes to state their business and the biggest issue they were facing then the expert had two minutes to give insights and advice. Then the bell would ring and the entrepreneurs had to move to the next chair and meet their next two-minute mentor. It was noisy and intense and fascinating and those entrepreneurs made valuable connections in no time flat! We are now making this a permanent part of our program.
There was so much information and so many interesting topics at What’s Next 2016. We were able to offer twenty different sessions lead by the best industry experts. It’s months later and we are still discussing and disseminating the information, fascinated by the wealth of knowledge in this market, and the depth of opportunity. We will share more of our observations and insights in our next newsletter.
To start, here is a summary of leading housing analyst and SVP of Senior Living Research and Development at Ziegler, Lisa McCracken’s presentation on Senior Housing. Lisa shared the following data about the senior housing supply.
Senior Housing Supply
Another thing we are noticing is the shift in perception of senior housing in other subtle ways, for instance, 53 of the 150 largest nonprofits have changed their name in the past 11 years. They are removing words such as retirement, homes, aging, and care and incorporating words such as grace and spirit.
The Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit is on the Horizon!
The big news for MFA is our upcoming 13th Annual Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit. We are hard at work putting together a banner group of speakers, judges, and industry experts; developing relevant panel topics, sessions, and workshops; and screening new business plans.
Our focus this year is Strategic Investment in the Longevity Market. We will be examining the roles of beauty, health, fitness, safety, security, housing, caregiving, and connection in our lives as we age, and their market opportunities on a global level.
When you register for the summit be sure to reserve a spot to attend the Angel Breakfast, where you will have an opportunity to network with angel investors and seed fund representatives. Following breakfast, the morning sessions will include the popular “Pitch for Distribution.” Three companies will give brief pitches to a panel of investors with the hope of interesting one or more of the panelists enough to secure a meeting. We are also planning to offer workshops and sessions that further our knowledge of the market needs and opportunities, the distribution channels, and the ways to scale a business.
Another box to check when you register is your host for lunch. We are gathering an assembly of angel investors, VCs, CEOs, bloggers, industry analysts, and authors for our annual Lunch with the Experts. Here you will get a chance to connect and network over a delicious lunch on the campus lawn.
We are still accepting business plans for the $10,000 Business Plan Competition. This year the line-up of judges includes Lynne Chou, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Jody Holtzman, AARP; Scott Smith, The Viant Group; Gavin Teo, Comcast Ventures; and Aaron Flink, McKesson Ventures. If you are interested in submitting your business plan, you can find the rules and criteria for the competition on our web page. Entry deadline is May 29. Many of our past contestants have gone on to be very successful entrepreneurs. Take a look at last year’s winner, Vynca.
We look forward to seeing you in Santa Clara in June to help us discover who is investing in the longevity economy and what trends will dominate the market in 2017.
Be sure to register at BoomerVentureSummit.com before June 10 to take advantage of the early bird discount, use the discount SV16FOM.