WASHINGTON—Today, AARP Innovation Labs and Venture Miami announced the six finalists for the Connect & Thrive Pitch competition, which sought out digital innovations to combat loneliness and social isolation an issue that affects many adults as they age. The finalists will present their AgeTech solutions in front of a global audience and distinguished panel of judges at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, FL on March 9. The people’s choice winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize and the grand prize winner will receive a $20,000 cash prize.
“Tech solutions can be critical in reducing social isolation among older adults, from telehealth visits, to online shopping to virtual connections with loved ones,” said Andy Miller, Senior Vice President, AARP Innovation Labs. “We look forward to hearing how these innovative solutions can help further address the issue of social isolation and loneliness among older adults.”
“We would like to congratulate the finalists on making it to the final stage of the Connect & Thrive Pitch,” said City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. We look forward to hearing from these inspiring innovators on March 9thand following their success for years to come.”
Mind&Melody, Inc. (Miami, FL)– Mind&Melody uses interactive music programs with educational and therapeutic benefits for individuals experiencing neurological impairments in order to improve quality of life.
Storybook App (Miami, FL)- Storybook app combines narrated bedtime stories, music and relaxation techniques like meditation and infant massage to help parents and grandparents spend high-quality time with their children before bedtime to improve emotional health and sleep.
Chatables (West Palm Beach, FL)- Chatables creates virtual characters to engage isolated older adults in conversation and interactive skits to reduce feelings of loneliness, exercise the social and emotional brain, and potentially slow the onset of mental decline.
RAZ Mobility, LLC (Tysons Corner, VA)- RAZ Mobility offers mobile assistive technology and services to people with disabilities, including the RAZ Memory Cell Phone for seniors with cognitive decline.
Vivo (Atlanta, GA)- Vivo provides small group personal training online that, unlike video or live-streamed classes, is a live and interactive two-way experience that addresses the loss of strength and independence in older adults.
Carevocacy (Hollywood, FL) - Carevocacy aims to reduce social isolation and promote independence through tech education. They do this by matching older adults with tech tutors (Carevocates).
Grand prize: $20,000
People’s choice: $5,000
In addition to these prizes, the winner will have an opportunity to be considered in the AARP Innovation Labs startup portfolio; recognition and interview opportunities through Venture Miami; and an opportunity to meet with mayor Francis Suarez for a “Cafecito Talk.”
AARP iLabs and Venture Miami (City of Miami) are honored to welcome three thought leaders in innovation to serve as judges for this event.
- Annette Franqui, Chair, AARP Board of Directors
- Melissa Krinzman, Managing Partner, Krillion Ventures | former VC in Residence, City of Miami, Office of Mayor Suarez
- Derick Pearson, co-Founder of the Center for Black Innovation
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, elected President of the US Conference of Mayors will provide opening remarks during the Connect & Thrive Pitch competition.
Austin Burch, Head of Client Operations at Papa, a Miami-based unicorn, will participate as a keynote speaker and share Papa’s startup journey experience with participants.
Jeanine Suah, an avid ecosystem-builder and Miami tech advocate and has assumed that role through her work as an X in Residence at Brex, one of the world’s top fintech start-ups, a VC Scout at Florida Funders, and a Venture Partner at Wefunder. Suah is on a mission to increase access to capital for underestimated founders by demystifying VC and has impacted over 4,000 entrepreneurs in the last two years.
Steve Greenberg, the Tech & Gadget Reporter, author of “Gadget Nation: A Journey Through The Eccentric World of Invention,” and Host of YouTube’s gadget game show, “What The Heck Is That?" will host a version of his YouTube gadget game show called “What The Heck Is That?” during the Connect & Thrive pitch competition intermission.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.