Innovators unite to overcome barriers to entrepreneurship for older adults

  • Laura Ferris

    Laura Ferris

    Programme Coordinator

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Last week, the Smart Ageing Prize held an academy event for its 15 semi-finalist teams.           

The purpose of the academy was to bring the innovators together to support them in refining their solutions, enhancing their pitches and developing their business models. Due to the current restrictions on events, the academy was held online with great success, with the team hosting four workshops across two days!

The first workshop, facilitated by Jessica Goodman from IBIMA, focused on asset framing.  This session gave teams a better understanding of using tools and methods effectively  to shift away from employing disparaging language and approaches, and towards cultivating narratives that define older adults by their aspirations and contributions to society. Juliane Jarke from the University of Bremen led the next session on co-creation. Co-creation involves bringing users into the concept, design and implementation processes of solution development, allowing for feedback directly from the end user group to ensure that the solution is useful, appropriate and relevant to them. One effective platform shared was Leapfrog, designed to facilitate creative and engaging consultations with the public and end user groups using innovative tools.

The second day of the academy began with Andrew McKay from Seven Consultancy’s introduction to media and communications. The purpose of this workshop was to equip the semi-finalist teams with the knowledge to develop and deliver key messages and effectively navigate media interviews. Andrea di Anselmo from META group wrapped up the Academy with a business modelling workshop that demonstrated to the teams how to apply business modelling to their solutions and business plans and how to identify and engage with their target users.

During a time where the teams could not be physically together, this academy ultimately provided the semi-finalist teams with an excellent opportunity to engage with experts, learn key skills useful for their development, and collaborate with one another.

“It was really nice to feel connected to the other projects and start to get to know them!”

Smart Ageing Prize Semi-Finalist

So, what’s up next for the teams? They are currently working hard to develop business plans and pitch videos to be submitted to the judging panel before final selections are made for the winner and the runners-up.

Stay tuned to find out more about how these incredible innovators are getting on!