Innovations in Healthy Aging Challenge

Culpepper Garden Awards Three $12,000 Innovation in Healthy Aging Challenge Grants to Pilot Technology-related Programs to Benefit Low-Income Older Persons

On November 20, Culpepper Garden, a non-profit affordable housing community for low-income older adults, announced three companies who won its first Innovation in Healthy Aging Challenge. Culpepper Garden established the Innovation and Healthy Aging Challenge through a grant from Arlington County focused on addressing the "Digital Divide" that limits low-income residents’ access to and benefits from innovative technologies.

"We were overwhelmed by the number of innovative companies who applied for the Challenge," stated Linda Kelleher, Executive Director of Culpepper Garden. "The impressive awardees were selected from robotics, telehealth, and virtual reality companies from around the country."

A panel of judges including Arlington County officials, health care providers, tech company CEOs, technology developers, venture capitalists, academics and Culpepper Garden residents selected finalists and awardees based on online applications and "Pitch Day" style presentations held at Arlington Economic Development offices.

"Our job as judges was difficult, as we received a number of incredible applications and innovative approaches. We made sure to focus on companies and technologies that would directly impact the health, connectivity, and needs of low-income senior citizens." explained one judge, Peter Kant, Culpepper Garden Board Member and Technology Company CEO.

The three awardees were selected from the seven finalists who made it through the initial application evaluations. Awardees will receive $12,000 in grant funding and will be implementing pilot programs at Culpepper Garden starting in 2020. Culpepper Garden will be evaluating the impact of these pilot programs and reporting to Arlington County on costs, benefits, implementation factors and the potential to more broadly scale these solutions to the wider low-income population.

"Partnering with Culpepper Garden on this entrepreneurial effort was an important step in exploring how new technologies can benefit low income seniors. Programs like this will broaden the community conversation about improving digital equity for our vulnerable populations," said Jack Belcher, Arlington County’s Chief Information Officer and a judge for the Challenge.

The three awardees are:

INF Robotics: RUDY™ is a fully autonomous interactive robot that directly interacts with senior citizens to improve mobility, engagement and health.

Luna Lights: Provides innovative fall prevention and lighting technology helping prevent falls and quickly alert care givers when users need assistance.

Viva Vita: Brings virtual reality experiences to retirement communities for engaging experiences that promote brain health and community fellowship in a convenient and affordable service package.

Funding and real-world pilot opportunities for three winners developing innovative technology for seniors

Join the Innovation in Aging Challenge and present your best ideas on innovative technology for seniors. Be one of three winners selected and take home the $12,000 prize to fund your concept.

Entrepreneurs, innovators, and technologists are increasingly focused on the growth opportunities serving adults over age 62.

Do you have a business that is helping older adults leverage new technology to stay healthy, improve their mobility, or better connect to their families and communities?

Do you want to trial your innovative approaches in a real-world setting by getting valuable feedback from older adults, health care providers, businesses and customer testimonials?

If so, Culpepper Garden and Arlington County government are hosting a unique competition to identify and provide funding and pilot program opportunities for innovative companies and technologies focused on helping improve the lives of low-income seniors. Note this competition is sponsored by Culpepper Garden and its nonprofit owner, Arlington Retirement Housing Corporation (ARHC).

Culpepper Garden and ARHC are celebrating 50 years as an award-winning residential community that was one of the nation’s first to serve the needs of low-income seniors as they age in place. Culpepper Garden is home to over 340 residents and located in the heart of the growing technology hub of Arlington, VA (just outside Washington, DC).

This competition is open to companies and individuals from early seed stage to established corporations from around the world. Participants have the opportunity to:

  • Win $12,000 in funding for each of the top three winners;
  • Pilot their technology or approach at Culpepper Garden and a formal evaluation to provide to future customers;
  • Become a leader in social impact technology benefitting low income seniors;
  • Build relationships with competition judges including venture capitalists, medical professional, company CEOs, and government officials;
  • Receive mentoring, feedback and advice from health care providers, senior and assisted living experts, older adults and other stakeholders;
  • Solicit customer testimonials; and
  • Recognition and publicity about their companies and technologies.

To access the Innovations in Healthy Aging Challenge Information Packet click here!

To access the Innovations in Healthy Aging Challenge Information Packet click here!

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