We launched the London stream of the Impact Hub Fellowship for Longer Lives in January 2014. We had a great number of submissions from entrepreneurs looking at addressing the challenges of the increase in human life expectancy, falling birth rates and an ageing workforce.
The focus of the new Fellowship programme was to create innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities presented by an ageing society. Semi-finalists were then invited to the next phase to pitch their ideas to win over £30,000 of start-up support on Thursday 3rd April 2014.
Created in 2013 by AXA, Swiss Re Foundation and Impact Hub, The Impact Hub Fellowship for Longer Lives is part of an international programme to be implemented in Oaxaca, Milan, Madrid and London.
The Impact Hub Fellowship UK Programme nominated up to three initiatives and awarded the finalist with a twelve month fellowship, gaining access to seed funding, focused skill development, valuable networks and a stimulating workspace at Impact Hub King’s Cross.
The number and proportion of elderly people has been growing faster than ever in most developed and developing countries. This gives rise to very significant economic, social and educational challenges, but also to many opportunities.
Through the Fellowship, Impact Hub with AXA and Swiss Re Foundation were seeking innovative initiatives that provide sustainable solutions towards meeting the challenges and opportunities posed by the UK’s ageing society.
The Fellowship for Longer Lives invited ambitious, purpose-driven entrepreneurs hoping to revolutionise the status quo and who find that collaboration is the most powerful tool to generate positive impact.
Awards were made to initiatives that offer scalable solutions in the form of products or services that enable changes in practice or behaviour in one or several of the following aspects:
• Organisation of family life
• Education system
• Corporate economic life
• Public services
– Financial support of £22,000 (a 12 month living stipend of £1000 per month, plus one-time seed-funding of £10,000)
– 1 year Impact Hub Unlimited Membership: full time access to the creative space at Impact Hub King’s Cross (value £5,616)
– Networking support from Impact Hub King’s Cross, AXA and Swiss Re Foundation: access to investors, partners, supporters, peer-entrepreneurs, media, and many more…
– 1 year start-up support including a dedicated coach, education, expert support, exposure and access to talent (value approx. £3,000)
The Impact Hub Fellowship for Longer Lives has passed through its initial phase here in London. Seven finalists spent the day pitching to a jam packed specialist jury panel made up; of Ilona Haslewood from Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Yves Masson from AXA Direct and Partnerships, Alison Mclean from Swiss Re Foundation, Peter Tyson from Impact Hub King’s Cross, Dermot Egan from Tilt, Valerie Stevens from Help Age International and David Metz from UCL.
A big congratulations to Silversharers, Speakset and See What I Mean for making it through.
While all the semi-finalists shone, these three were chosen to be supported over a 3 month period, through a monthly stipend, business support, full time membership at Impact Hub King’s Cross and access to network from all three partners running the programme.
Connecting senior explorers
Silversharers’ mission is to connect, mobilize, empower and enrich senior citizens, by creating a community platform for mutually rewarding “home-stay” visits and vacations, with the potential to enhance the quality of life for many of our seniors.
Reducing isolation for older people
SpeakSet is a product that converts an older person’s TV into an easy to use video calling device. It makes video calling accessible by using a clear interface and being controlled by a really simple remote control. SpeakSet solves the problem of isolation in old age.
Ewan Marshall, Adi Kasliwell and Matt Simmons
Journey anywhere not just in to the past
The See What I Mean (SWiM) App is a new and innovative solution to communication and engagement problems for people living with dementia. Losing the ability to communicate is one of the most frustrating and difficult problems for people with dementia, their families and carers. Communication is challenging because words can become hard to understand whereas images often retain their meaning.
Ilyanna Kerr and Peter Rogers
An innovative new service to help older people video call doctors, family and friends won the Impact Hub Longer Lives challenge.
The Speakset founders developed their service because they saw personally what a huge problem isolation was for their older relations. Determined to understand the scale of the challenge on older peoples lives they immersed themselves interviewing hundreds of people.
“We went out to understand older people’s lives, problems and aspirations and this allowed us to build a product that they want to use and love to use. We use these same techniques to iterate the product for everyone involved.” – Ewan Marshall, Speakset
SpeakSet is now being used in care homes and private homes all over the country, connecting older people to their healthcare services as well as their wider support network. Older people often have difficulty easily accessing healthcare and SpeakSet want to make it as simple talk to your doctor as it is to turn on your TV.
“I live alone, I’m severely disabled, I don’t have any family after my wife passed away, and it can get very lonely…Speakset has improved my quality of life because I spent a lot of time stuck on my own without anyone to see or speak to. I would like to see more people using it.” – John Maynard, Speakset User
To learn more about Speakset, go to www.speakset.com