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AARP Launches New Innovation@50+ Scholarships for DEMO Conference

New scholarships to help two entrepreneurs pitch the next great idea for Americans 50+ at nation’s premiere start-up launch conference

June 20, 2011

AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560

New scholarships to help two entrepreneurs pitch the next great idea for Americans 50+ at nation’s premiere start-up launch conference.

WASHINGTON – As part of AARP’s efforts to stimulate innovations that serve the needs and wants of Americans age 50+, the Association announced today the launch of a new program that will give two promising entrepreneurs the time and attention of leading venture capitalists and members of the press, to help turn their visions into reality. 

AARP’s “Innovation@50+” scholarship program is part of a new collaboration with DEMO, the Launchpad for Emerging Technology.  AARP will sponsor scholarships for two entrepreneurs who are focused on new solutions that help Americans age 50+ or who are themselves 50 or older.  The scholarships will finance their participation at the DEMO fall 2011 conference, where entrepreneurs looking to launch their start-ups will directly pitch their ideas to over 200 venture capitalists and members of the press.

“We know better than anyone how much talent, knowledge and experience older Americans have to offer,” said Jody Holtzman, AARP Senior Vice President of Thought Leadership.  “We also know that as the youngest boomers approach their own 50th birthdays, there is a huge opportunity for innovators of all ages to meet the needs and wants of Americans as they age.  We’re trying to match the available talent with the abundant opportunity and help create great innovation.”

The DEMO fall 2011 conference will be held September 12-14 in Silicon Valley, Calif., and is currently accepting applications.  Applicants chosen for the event will have access to leading start-up financiers and media, including a six-minute presentation to the entire conference.  AARP’s scholarships will cover the $18,500 participation fee for up to two entrepreneurs to attend DEMO who fit within the parameters of AARP’s guiding mission of enhancing the quality of life for all as we age and by leading positive social change.

“This is about inspiring innovation for the 50+ community,” said Holtzman.  “We’re excited to be working with DEMO, which consistently showcases entrepreneurs that develop products that are on the cutting edge of innovation and attract investors.”

To be eligible to launch on the DEMO stage, proposed products must solve a commercial problem; make an impact or change the marketplace into which it is introduced or create a new market; have a business plan and a management team capable of delivering the product to market; and make its public debut at the DEMO conference in September.

Eligibility for a DEMO-AARP Innovation@50+ scholarship requires that the applying company must either be managed by an individual (CEO and/or President) age 50 or older, or propose a product or service that is focused on serving the wants and/or needs of people over the age of 50. Applying companies cannot have any policies that conflict with AARP policies available here: DEMO will determine the initial eligibility and work in conjunction with AARP to select the companies that best represent the mission and goals of AARP.

All applications must be received by July 14th.

More information on DEMO is available online at:
Application forms are available online at:

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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