Building ventures to improve the quality of later life – report published

Two characteristics of our new strategic framework are around encouraging multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving and working across sectoral and organisational boundaries. We hope this report inspires you to collaborate with the emerging band of passionate and entrepreneurial community leaders around the country who believe that creating a healthier later life for us all is one of the most important challenges we face as a society.

Susan Kay, Dunhill Medical Trust

Around 1 in 4 people in the world are aged over 60; soon, this will be 1 in 3. Yet, the products and services that help people age well are largely poorly designed, or non-existent. Later life innovators can revolutionise what it means to live and age well but, it seems, there aren’t enough businesses focused on this large and growing market.

We met the inspirational team at Zinc just before the world changed for all of us. We heard that they were supporting budding entrepreneurs and researchers to come together to address this important issue. Collaborating across sectoral and disciplinary boundaries and developing products and services to support a healthier later life sounded as if it was right up our street ! So we decided to support the team to bring together the learning and insights from these entrepreneurs’ journeys and so that we could share them with – and hopefully inspire – others.

This report set out to capture why, where and how to innovate in later life. It summarises key learning points from the perspective of innovators, researchers, older adults, and other experts who are building or supporting later life startups. With a range of applied examples from later life ventures, the report explores what ‘good’ looks like in areas like building a network, drawing on scientific research, designing and testing products, developing a brand, and sourcing funding. It aims to provide practical lessons and actionable insights, while also building a broader case for the importance and urgency of good later life innovation. Do please take a look.

This report has been produced by Zinc and commissioned by The Dunhill Medical Trust. It is largely based on learning that emerged from the Zinc 2019/20 later life venture builder. You can learn more about Zinc’s current/future work in the healthy ageing space here.