i3 - November/December 2019 - 52

Policy

By Jeremy Snow

T EC H H U B

AARP's
Tech Hub:
Innovation
at Any Age

 T 

Daymond John at the first annual
CES Pitch Competition at CES 2019.

he Hatchery, located just a few blocks from the
National Mall in Washington, D.C., is AARP's answer
to the growing community of startups and tech-related
endeavors across the country. While some see tech as more
often used by younger people, AARP sees a different possibility,
and hopes its Innovation Lab and accelerator program -
located in the Hatchery - can encourage future-focused solutions for people age 50 and their families.
The Hatchery was launched four years
ago to "highlight the physical manifestation of innovation within the AARP"
and foster products that assist people
over 50 years old, said Senior Vice
President of Innovation and Product
Development Andy Miller. The 10,000
square foot, two-floor space is host to
plenty of meeting spaces and offices
where the Hatchery's staff work with
outside companies, while also developing their own innovative ideas in-house.

AARP's Innovation Labs

Since its launch, Miller has helped grow
the lab's programs, events, competitions
and partnerships. Its collaboration with
the Boston's MassChallenge accelerator,
for example, has brought in dozens of
companies to the AARP Innovation Labs
looking to use technology to improve
senior health, wealth and caregiving. This
year, AARP is working with six healthtech and two fintech startups, incubating
these companies as they grow. Among
the 2019 startups to join are the end-oflife planning platform Cake and LifeSite,
an online safe deposit box.
52

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

AARP at CES

AARP also hosts its own pitch competitions in cities like Berkeley, Nashville and
New Orleans, where startups can show
their work and ask AARP members and
the innovation community to vote for the
most viable and impactful product or service. This year featured the first of these
pitch events at CES, where the event
highlighted improving social connection.
Sponsored by the CTA Foundation and
After a six-month incubation, which
AARP, and hosted in Eureka Park, CES'
Miller jokingly called a "dating proglobal stage for startups, eight companies
cess," AARP
pitched their ideas on how
chooses just a
AARP's accelerator technology could reduce
fraction of the
isolation - an issue thouprogram and
companies that
sands of seniors encounter.
innovation lab
apply to conTank's Daymond
are finding ways to Shark
tinue working
John emceed the event, and
help seniors use
with and develAARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins
technology to solve announced the winners.
oping, eventually taking
The pitches showcased
their problems.
equity in a few.
the originality on display at
The program
CES, and the way technolcontinues to thrive, as they look for
ogy brings us together - whether it was
more fintech organizations in 2020.
House of Haptics' wearable bracelet that
AARP's Innovation Labs is also buildsimulates sending human touch over
ing its own in-house products, already
long distances, or a video conferencing
creating four market-ready products in
solution from Glowbl that allowed multijust two years. The team of entrepreneurs ple types of content to be shared at once.
and developers created the Let's Be Well
In the end, the judges chose two winners:
Box from scratch, a container with variWaverly Labs and StoryUP's Healium.
ous information and products related to
Pitch competition winners, including
senior-related health concerns.
the two from CES, then had the opporConsumers can order a box either
tunity to compete in the AARP's Grand
focused on heart health or diabetes,
Pitch Finale held in October.
each containing various books, products and readings about how to deal
CES 2020 Eureka Park will feature the
with the ailments.
hottest startups in 2020.
2020
I T I S I N N O VAT I O N


http://www.CES.tech http://www.CES.tech

i3 - November/December 2019

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