Startup Studio Alive Ventures Raises $12M to Advance Good Design for Seniors
Leslie Ignacio is dot.LA's editorial intern. She is a recent California State University, Northridge graduate and previously worked for El Nuevo Sol, Telemundo and NBC and was named a Chips Quinn Scholar in 2019. As a bilingual journalist, she focuses on covering diversity in news. She's a Los Angeles native who enjoys trips to Disneyland in her free time.
Startup Studio Alive Ventures raised $12 million to fund entrepreneurs designing products for a graying population and it's enlisting the help of people like famed Apple designer Don Norman to rethink the golden years.
Seniors have often been an afterthought for designers, who often focus their products on youth. But the growing spending power of Baby Boomers, along with their more active lifestyles and longer lives have altered how entrepreneurs are viewing those in their retirement years.
"Most startups and corporations purporting to serve older people are really solving for someone else's ideas of what seniors want — what doctors think older adults ought to use or what caregivers wish older people would do," said Alive Ventures founder John Zapolski. "We created Alive Ventures to invent the kinds of products and services older adults told us they want for themselves."
Long Beach-based The SCAN Foundation, a charity that seeks to improve services and healthcare for the elderly, funded the startup studio, which worked in its incubation program for 18 months.
Norman, an octogenarian who helped coin the term "user experience," is featured on Alive's YouTube series "Old People Are Cool, Design for Them Sucks."
"Why do we have such ugly stuff, that doesn't really completely fit the need for the elderly — and we have such beautiful stuff for people who are younger?," Norman asks. "I think the answer is that the market perceives, the businesses perceive the elderly as a niche market."
Old People are Cool, Design for Them Sucks - with Don Norman, John Zapolski and Ayse Birsel.
Norman points to the importance of diminishing stigmas behind designing products only for the elderly and creating products that work for people of all ages. He argues the change has to come from those in management positions, by showing them the profit that can result from it.
There are 55 million Americans over the age of 65. By 2030, Baby Boomers — who will all be over that age — are projected to outnumber children, according to the Census Bureau.
Alive Ventures hosts a series of workshops across the U.S. where it recruits older people to help figure out what design works for different products and play a role in their development.
And it wants companies to pay attention.
"Part of the reason why I'm an entrepreneur is because I think it's really hard to change big existing companies from the inside. It's actually easier to create a whole new model and put pressure on those existing models from the outside," Zapolski said in the YouTube series.
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
Palantir Technologies' stock rose more than 30% after the enigmatic, big data analytics company officially went public with a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.
The stock under the ticker symbol PLTR ended the day at $9.50 per share or $2.25 above its $7.25 reference price.
Palantir's Unconventional Voting Structure<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ1MTQyOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjQxODYzMX0.Hyi0HYB_4Uq1Knn1ZPZ7YRlUvy-jXxtNtEPirbw8WCI/img.png?width=980" id="29110" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="50a1e07f92e7f750629d4e2456763bb1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />'Transparency is a Great Thing': Secretive Big Data Firm Palantir Goes Public<p>The company's voting and governance structure has given many industry analysts pause. Michael Weisbach, the Ralph W. Kurtz finance chair at Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business, said it creates an extra class of stock that gives founders effective control of the company no matter how much stock they actually own.</p>
Musicians are facing a tough road and the pandemic hasn't made life any easier. But changes are afoot that could help.
A flurry of deals between music copyright owners and a grab bag of online video purveyors may be just the first step in a process that could see "the most important copyright reform since the U.S. passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) 22 years ago," according to one industry observer.
With it, artists and rights holders should be better positioned to benefit from the growing relevance of music across social media platforms, gaming consoles, virtual gyms and much more.