Silver economy business support : overview
Are you developing a product or service that could help older people to be happier, healthier or more connected? Would you like some free support to give it its best chance of success? Welcome! You are in the right place. Whether you are just at an early stage or more advanced, AgeTech Accelerator is interested in hearing from you. Using EU funding, we can offer you lots of free silver economy business support.
We are the only innovation accelerator in Europe specialising in the silver economy that:
- Offers free advice on routes to market
- Can help you access markets in four countries
- Provides free testing in the lab and field
- Runs specialist labs of real users recruited from thousands of older consumers
- Taps into the detailed knowledge of our in-country experts specialising in the needs of older people
- Does not charge any fees or require any equity
- Gives you the opportunity to sit down with potential buyers, commissioners, resellers and distributors to develop a strong value proposition and model
- Introduces you to an invaluable silver economy business network
- You can be an SME, a solo entrepreneur, a large company with a new product/service or a not-for-profit organisation
- You need to be located in these geographical regions of the UK, France, the Netherlands and Belgium
- Your product needs to be scaleable
- Your product needs to have appeal across nationalities and culture
While there are many different types of products/services suitable for inclusion in the accelerator programme, the main categories are health and care, food, household, assisted living and personal equipment. Not all products are high-tech.
Since we began in 2016 we have invited businesses onto our programme developing both tech and non-tech products that help:
- Older people to stay mobile
- Families to manage and coordinate informal care; to support their ageing loved ones; and to stay in touch
- Predict and prevent falls
- Track nutrition and hydration levels
- Manage hearing and visual impairment
- Reduce isolation and loneliness
We fund four different types of support to silver economy innovators:
- Silver economy product development workshops: collaborate with users in your planning and product development stages
- Lab or initial silver economy product testing: check your basic prototype meets the health and safety requirements for its product group
- Live testing on real people: test your advanced prototype and learn if your target group would buy it.
- Business advice and support: check your business model and important aspects of your commercial strategy, such as distribution, pricing and routes to market
The market of the ‘silver economy’ is set to double in size by 2050. But while it is growing fast, it is a market in its infancy. This means products and services for older people often do not meet need very well, and the market is fragmented and not well understood. Many products are similar and need differentiation. Here at AgeTech Accelerator we want to ensure better products reach the market.
We do not give funds directly to your business, but our funding from the EU allows us to provide all the above to you in a free programme. All you need to pay for are travel expenses for one meeting and to supply us with demonstrators or prototypes of your product, if you have them.
Our focus is on co-creating with the user or buyer, product testing and support to get your product to market. We are not a traditional ‘incubator’ in that we don’t provide start-ups with seed funding, co-working space or structured mentoring. We constantly review our activities, so please let us know if you think adding some additional types of support would add even more value to your business.
We’d love to hear from you whatever stage your business is at. While AgeTech Accelerator adds most value if your product/service has not yet won significant market share both in and beyond your country border we may well be able to help if it is or has: we suggest you speak to one of our in-country experts. See more about stage of business eligibility here.
Earlier stage innovations: we support you with in-country and cross-border product development and product testing services, lab and field testing (including product testing in private and residential care homes) and market access information.
Later stage innovations: we assist you with your cross-border business model, customer introductions or financing. Find out more about the specific services we offer here.