Are you making life better for old people? The AARP wants to know.
“Research shows that 70 percent of U.S. disposable income is controlled by an aging population, so there are tremendous business opportunities here. We just want to help companies find those opportunities and help solve some of our key challenges in the process.”
Those words were spoken to a TechCrunch reporter by Anne Marie Kilgallon, the vice president of enterprise strategy and innovation for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). The AARP represents…well…old people. Seniors represent a big business opportunity and the AARP wants both existing companies and startups to remember that. So the organization recently launched a new contest called the Innovation Champion Awards for businesses who are “innovators in aging, empowering people to choose how they live as they age.”
What kind of businesses? The contest is looking for businesses that have developed technologies or models for improving the health, safety, care, or anything else that improves the lives of senior citizens. The winner gets $10,000 and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to meet with AARP executives. Sorry – the aging leadership of the Democratic party will not be in attendance.
OK, let’s admit that $10,000 isn’t a huge amount of cash. But that’s not the main intention of the contest. The AARP’s goal is to point a spotlight on companies that are doing great things for the older set. “AARP is a social impact organization,” Kilgallon said in the TechCrunch article. “We hope that the winners solve real, concrete problems experienced by people aged 50 and older.”
Nominations have just opened and will be accepted through April 15 so if you want to participate you better hurry up. No one’s getting any younger here!