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Ecumen and MOJO Minnesota, the organizers of the inaugural AgePower Tech Search, which is designed to help bring new technology solutions to a rapidly aging world, have announced the initiative’s five finalists (listed below). Team leaders for the five technologies will participate in a Demo Day before AgePower judges in Minneapolis/St. Paul on January 21st. The finalists will vie for an opportunity for a 6-month pilot with Ecumen customers and employees. The pilot is designed to give inventors valuable user feedback to prepare products for commercial market expansion.
Ecumen and MOJO Minnesota, an innovation cooperative and advocacy force working to fuel entrepreneurship and a culture of innovation, launched AgePower in late 2013. The intent of AgePower is to locate, reward and help launch new high- and low-tech technology and innovation that have a positive, near-term impact on the aging experience.
AgePower (agepower.org) differs from most “incubators” or “accelerators” in that its focus is on transforming the future of aging and providing real-life test environments along with access to business and invention experts in key areas necessary to fueling a successful new venture. AgePower had 27 submissions from the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Below are snapshots of the five finalists:
A-VU Media (avumedia.com): Minnesota-based A-VU seeks to enrich the lives of seniors by providing them access to all the possibilities of complex media services with easy-to-use interfaces. A-VU was founded by John Goodman, whose background is in broadband technology. A-VU partners include Winona Health Clinic and Hiawatha Broadband Communications. A-VU’s technology provides a HIPAA-secure digital connection from a person’s home to their physician as well as other media and interconnectivity options, all utilizing a television screen and simple remote control.
CareTree (caretree.me): A Chicago-based start-up, CareTree seeks to provide a secure digital platform with telephony tie-ins for home health caregivers and families to easily share care information and updates with each other. CareTree says healthcare is a village, but the village has to be able to easily and securely share and coordinate information. CareTree’s vision is a single, centralized health record that’s simple to use for all stakeholders (family, medical and care teams) and HIPAA compliant. CareTree was founded by serial entrepreneur Carl Hirschman, who previously founded and sold X-Wires Broadband and was inspired to create CareTree based on his Mom’s caregiving experience.
ForMyChildren: A Minnesota-California collaboration, ForMyChildren online technology seeks to go far beyond the safety deposit box and current software to allow parents or grandparents to easily and securely share important stories, photos, videos, documents, passwords, legal information and other key information with their spouse, adult children and/or grandchildren. Founders of ForMyChildren are Michael Wright, former president of publicly-held company Entegris; film producer Scott Garen; and serial entrepreneur Jeff O’Dell, who founded and sold August Technologies.
GO 2 (goodbloodflow.com): A North Carolina company, GO2 is commercializing the CV2. The CV2 is described as an exciting new wellness product that can effectively, and inexpensively, increase circulation for nearly everybody. Published medical research has demonstrated that “treadling” on low-resistance devices such as the CV2 can dramatically increase the velocity of blood flow out of and into the lower extremities. Co-founders of GO2, LLC are James Hundley, Jr., co-founder of OrthopaedicList.com, and James Hundley, M.D., a retired board-certified orthopedic surgeon and co-founder of OrthopaedicList.com.
Playtabase (playtabase.com): Playtabase is a Minnesota-based company dedicated to reinventing the world through fun solutions. The company is currently developing a limited mobility situation inspired, wrist-worn, technology that empowers users to interact with the electronics around them through gesture alone. Co-founder and Playtabase CEO Muhammad Abdurrahman Ph.D., was inspired to create the technology after his father experienced multiple strokes.
About AgePower’s Founding Partners
Ecumen (ecumen.org), headquartered in Shoreview, Minn., is one of the country’s top 20 largest nonprofit senior housing and services companies. It is empowering individuals to live better, easier and more fun lives. It has served people for 150 years, and operates a wide array of senior housing and services for its 10,000+ customers and develops and operates housing for third parties nationally.
MOJO Minnesota (mojominnesota.com) is an innovation cooperative and advocacy force working to fuel entrepreneurship and reignite Minnesota’s culture of innovation. MOJO includes leading Minnesota entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business advisors and engineers passionate about creating jobs and economic growth through the power of Minnesota-based innovation-driven startups.