Three funds have put their heads together to jointly launch Europe's first accelerator that focuses on the often neglected Silver Economy (products and services targeted at those over the age of 50), which is estimated to reach €5.7 trillion value by 2025.
With longer life expectancy and improved living conditions, Europe's population pyramid is transforming. By 2050, it's expected that the median age of EU citizens will increase by 4.5 years, and there will be almost half a million centenarians. This aging population is increasingly tech-savvy, and tech is continually developing in ways that can benefit more senior citizens.
To address this opportunity, Rome-based CDP Venture Capital, Ancona's Fondazione Marche, and global early-stage VC firm SOSV have formed a joint accelerator to support startups with innovative solutions specifically targeting the booming Silver Economy.
10 startups selected for the first phase of the programme will receive €100,000 in initial investment together with a structured 4-month acceleration period, supported by a number of high-profile Silver Economy sector corporate and scientific partners. Startups selected for the second phase will receive a minimum of €150,000 in investment and a spot in SOSV’s startup-development programme, with the opportunity to get a slice of the €6 million pie in follow-on funding.
“The boom of the Silver Economy is linked not only to the demographic trend but also to new forms of welfare and assistance for the senior population. It is not just a matter of providing services to support the quality of life of people over 50s, what we are witnessing is a real digital revolution and the emergence of new technological tools at the service of people in all aspects of everyday life,” explained President of CDP Venture Capital Francesca Bria. “Combined with this, is the need for new housing planning capable of integrating social, sustainability and security elements with the advantages of medical e-consultation services and Internet of Things applications to guarantee autonomy and relational well-being.”
The Next Age accelerator will be based in Ancona, Italy, at the headquarters of the AC75 Startup Accelerator. The programme will be hybrid, with both in-person and remote participation. Applications are open until May 31, 2022, on the Next Age website.
With $1.2 billion in assets under management, global venture capital firm SOSV’s start-up programmes include hard-tech oriented HAX and life-science driven IndieBio, both of which are committed to improving human and planetary health using technologies. For start-ups looking to scale globally, SOSV Chinaccelerator and MOX offer partnership opportunities with over 240 multi-national corporations in their ecosystem to help entrepreneurs expand rapidly into Asia’s fast-growing markets.
"Aging well and in prosperity is our life-long pursuit, yet the over-50 population has been underserved by technology. While many startups have yet to recognize themselves as part of the multi-trillion Silver Economy, the majority of their current products and services could benefit people aged 50 and over—including fintech for savings and investment management, tourism, wearables, healthcare, mobility, and smart home, to name a few. We're humbled to be a part of Next Age's mission and are thrilled to welcome this inaugural batch into our global ecosystem," said William Bao Bean, General Partner at SOSV.
The programme is part of the CDP National Accelerators Network, a network across the entire Italian territory, which supports the growth of start-ups specialising in high-growth potential markets. It is also part of a collaboration between CDP Venture Capital with Fondazione Marche and Fondazione Cariverona, which led to a total allocation of €8 million for the development of innovative start-ups and SMEs in the area.
“Fondazione Marche, by founding AC75 Startup Accelerator, has decided to invest now in the Silver Economy as the increase in life expectancy represents an enormous opportunity for social, economic and employment development, not fully perceived yet,” said AC75 Startup Accelerator founder and CEO Mario Pesaresi.
“In fact, start-ups can make a unique contribution to living longer and better by bringing to the market innovative solutions that were unthinkable just a few years ago. For the Marche Region, where life expectancy is particularly high, the project represents the opportunity to enhance at the national and international level, successful skills gained in the last 20 years, in science and investment in new entrepreneurial endeavours”.
Next Age is also supported by main partner Intesa Sanpaolo, as well as the Istituto Nazionale Ricovero e Cura Anziani (I.N.R.C.A.), Università Politecnica delle Marche, and the UK National Innovation Center for Aging as scientific partners.