Singapore, 30 November 2018 – ACCESS Health International and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS) today announced the 2018 top teams from Modern Aging Singapore. Three teams were awarded a total of $100,000, in seed funding, to further develop their solutions that cater to the challenges and opportunities within the silver sector. Modern Aging Singapore is a business accelerator programme that identifies, develops and scales start-up companies that serve the needs of aging populations and their caregivers.
50 teams applied for Modern Aging Singapore this year, with eight teams being selected to go through its comprehensive business development programme. These teams presented their solutions to a judging panel yesterday, and pitched to an audience of 200 at the awards ceremony held this afternoon.
“Modern Aging has become more than just an accelerator programme. It is also an education platform, to provide more information on the aging experience as well as a community which brings together industry experts, mentors, seniors, innovators and anyone interested in empowering people to live longer and live better. I am delighted to see some of our past Modern Aging teams showing good progress, including raising funding, commercialising their products, and scaling their solutions for greater impact,” said Dr Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.
“We have noticed that aging is gaining more and more interest from the corporate sector. This year, we are grateful for the support from our industry partners, including new partner OCBC Bank. They are actively developing insights on how they can better serve their aging customers. By providing a node of networks and expertise, Modern Aging is the go-to platform for corporations that perceive aging as a growing business opportunity,” said Mr Fredrik Knoeff, Country Director Singapore, ACCESS Health International.
Top teams tackle legacy planning, dental care and retirement planning
The top teams of Modern Aging Singapore 2018 focused on developing innovative solutions for the ageing population, in the following ways:
1) Timeliss (received $50,000 in seed funding) – When a loved one passes away, most family members are unprepared for it. They experience a range of emotions including distress, grief and worry about how to handle issues such as legal affairs, insurance claims and other post-death administration. Timeliss provides a holistic framework that brings health, wealth and legacy planning onto one platform, empowering people to prepare themselves for end-of-life matters. Timeliss provides information on what to do, with templates and checklists for those who wish to take action, as well as links to relevant professional services.
“Many people prefer not to discuss death, especially in Asia. This has led to some families being woefully unprepared for the end. For example, in Singapore, there are some 20,000 unclaimed life insurance policies, where the beneficiaries did not receive the money. Timeliss helps people to plan for their life, future and legacy. The support received from Modern Aging has been very useful in strengthening our product and adding services that will provide individuals with a more meaningful life and finale,” said Gerald Tan, Co-founder Timeliss.
2) ĀN (received $25,000 in seed funding) – As a nation of homeowners, much of Singaporean retirees’ wealth are locked up in illiquid assets, such as housing and CPF, leaving them with limited cash savings for retirement. ĀN is well-suited for retiree private property homeowners, who are after an equitable solution that provides them the peace of mind of a guaranteed monthly pay-out for life to supplement their retirement savings. ĀN is able to achieve this via its unique property monetisation model, where retirees can authorise institutional investors to purchase a portion of their home equity. The homeowners retain the right to live in the comfort of their own homes for life, continuing to gain from potential capital appreciation of the remaining portion and will have the option of leaving behind their stake in the property for next-of-kin as part of their estate.
“ĀN helps retiree homeowners who live in private properties to monetise a portion of their home equity to live better in retirement. Participating in the Modern Aging has provided us with immense opportunities and accelerated the development of our business concept. We are currently working with industry leaders from Singapore’s property, asset-management, research and regulatory communities to refine the product, and aim to launch this service by end-2019,” said Jonathan Teoh, Founder of ĀN.
3) Eden (received $25,000 in seed funding) – Nearly 80% of seniors above 65 years are missing teeth. And while dentures are the proven solution, discomfort means in many seniors forego this option, resulting in a reduced quality of life. Comfortable dentures require taking an accurate dental impression, which is the imprint of the hard and soft tissue within the mouth that forms the cast for making the dentures. Currently, this is done by the user biting into impression material that is placed within a standard tray. If the impression is not precise, a bad fit leads to uncomfortable dentures. Eden is developing the Easy Tray, an automated tray system that is customised to the user’s jaw and mouth structure, to produce accurate dental impressions. Eden has applied for several patents for the Easy Tray, which leverages advanced optics, 3D design and 3D printing technologies.
“The seed funding from Modern Aging will be used to develop the Easy Tray prototype and prove our concept works. We will launch Easy Tray by mid-2019, targeting first the senior activity centres in Singapore, then local public and private healthcare clinics, before scaling to international markets, in particular the U.S.,” said Peter Peng, who was the leader of team Eden.
Modern Aging Singapore 2018 is organised by ACCESS Health International and NUS Enterprise, and is supported by ACE Seniors, Active Global Specialised Caregivers, Centre for Ageing Research & Education, Duke-NUS Medical School, NUS Business School, OCBC Bank, SingHealth and User Experience Centre.
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About National University of Singapore (NUS)
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education, research and entrepreneurship, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. We have 17 faculties across three campuses in Singapore, as well as 11 NUS Overseas Colleges across the world. Close to 40,000 students from 100 countries enrich our vibrant and diverse campus community.
Our multidisciplinary and real-world approach to education, research and entrepreneurship enables us to work closely with industry, governments and academia to address crucial and complex issues relevant to Asia and the world. Researchers in our faculties, 29 university-level research institutes, research centres of excellence and corporate labs focus on themes that include energy, environmental and urban sustainability; treatment and prevention of diseases common among Asians; active ageing; advanced materials; as well as risk management and resilience of financial systems. Our latest research focus is on the use of data science, operations research and cybersecurity to support Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative. For more information on NUS, please visit www.nus.edu.sg
About NUS Enterprise
NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), plays a pivotal role in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at NUS and beyond. It actively promotes entrepreneurship and cultivates global mind-sets and talents through the synergies of experiential entrepreneurial education, active industry partnerships, holistic entrepreneurship support and catalytic entrepreneurship outreach. Its initiatives and global connections support a range of entrepreneurial journeys and foster ecosystem building in new markets. These initiatives augment and complement the University’s academic programmes and act as a unique bridge to industry well beyond Singapore’s shores. For more information, please visit www.enterprise.nus.edu.sg
About ACCESS Health International
ACCESS Health International, Inc. is a non-profit think tank, advisory group, and knowledge and implementation partner with a mission to improve access to high quality, affordable healthcare for people everywhere, no matter what their age. ACCESS Health partners with governments and the private sector in low, middle, and high income countries to drive innovation in healthcare finance, delivery systems, quality and process improvement, training, and business engagement. For more information about ACCESS Health International, please visit www.accessh.org and www.modernaging.sg