Winners of Inaugural Modern Aging Singapore Program Receive Seed Funding

On Friday, ACCESS Health International and NUS Enterprise revealed the inaugural winners of the Modern Aging initiative in Singapore. Teams Altrue and Pillpresso both received seed funding of fifty thousand Singapore dollars, while Team SoundEye received seed funding of twenty five thousand Singapore dollars. This is the first year that Modern Aging has been organized in Singapore. Modern Aging is an educational initiative to inspire entrepreneurs to create businesses that serve the needs of aging populations.

Team Altrue
Team Altrue, one of the winners of Modern Aging.

Team Altrue is developing reusable sensors to help bedridden patients avoid pressure sores and infections. Pillpresso is developing an automated pill dispenser to improve medication adherence in the elderly. The third winner, SoundEye, is working on sensors to detect elderly falls with a one percent false alarm rate.

Launched in April at InnovFest 2015, Modern Aging is an accelerator program that facilitates the creation of new businesses addressing the needs of the elderly. The program began with an introductory workshop in August 2015 and ended Friday at the final judging event and awards ceremony. During the past four months, participants have benefited from an online learning portal, workshops by healthcare practitioners, industry talks, and individual mentoring sessions, which helped develop their ideas into feasible solutions. Senior role models participated in the learning journey, sharing more on the challenges faced, needs of the community, and wealth of experience. Over five hundred individuals took part in Modern Aging. Participants included entrepreneurs, business executives, healthcare professionals, students, and researchers.

Pillpresso and their winning pill dispenser.
Pillpresso and their winning pill dispenser.

“We are delighted to see participants of our first Modern Aging initiative bring their ideas to life and translate innovations and technologies into new solutions that address the wellbeing of seniors and their caregivers. This initiative highlighted the multidimensional needs of the silver sector and encouraged teams to take action. We hope all teams will carry on their entrepreneurial journeys, as they strive to make social impact on the aging community in Singapore, the region, and international markets,” said Dr. Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Enterprise.

SoundEye sensors ensure safety while protecting privacy.
SoundEye sensors ensure safety while protecting privacy.

“I am delighted that Modern Aging Singapore surpassed our expectations. We made real progress in building a community of entrepreneurs interested in creating businesses that address the needs of the elderly and that can contribute to the economic progress of the country. More than five hundred people signed up for online courses on the needs of the elderly, and we received nearly one hundred business concepts for evaluation. I believe the top six proposals, as well as the top twenty semifinalists, attest to the creativity and interest of the Singapore business community in meeting the needs of the elderly,” said Dr. William A. Haseltine, Chairman and President, ACCESS Health International.

Winning teams are also eligible for incubation support by NUS Enterprise, including mentorship, funding assistance, access to international linkages, and invitation to relevant events. The winners were judged based on the value proposition of their idea, market potential, economic and financial model, as well as the team’s strength and entrepreneurial ability. Twenty teams were shortlisted for the Modern Aging initiative, out of a total of ninety six business idea submissions.

Modern Aging is organized by ACCESS Health International and NUS Enterprise, and supported by the Singapore Ministry of Health. Academic partners include Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, NUS Business School, and the Centre for Ageing Research and Education. Modern Aging will be held on an annual basis, with future expansion in the region planned.

Click here to download the full press release with list of judges.