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Rewarding Innovations Serving Low-Income Older Adults

Good ideas can come from anywhere. The AARP Foundation Prize was created to seek out promising ideas and unlock new opportunities to help solve the problems so many low-income older adults face as they age.

The AARP Foundation Prize is a cash award to entrepreneurs to help fund innovative solutions serving low-income (those earning less than $40,000 in Median Household Income) individuals aged 50 and older, with respect to one or more of the following:

  1. Housing: the need to access housing that is affordable, livable and healthy
  2. Hunger: the need to access adequate and nutritious food
  3. Income: the need to increase or maintain income
  4. Isolation: the need to enjoy the positive health outcomes of strong and sustaining social bonds

AARP Foundation Prize awards are available in existing business plan competitions at participating universities, and to all startups in the U.S. through the 2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge.

2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge 

This fall, AARP Foundation, in collaboration with Rock Health, invited digital health startups to apply for the 2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge. Competitors applied for the chance to earn a $50,000 cash prize for the most innovative solution that will provide an opportunity for low-income older adults to have access to affordable, livable and healthy housing as they age, while helping reduce unnecessary healthcare services, costs, and hospital readmission rates.

By, 2030, the U.S. population age 50 and older is expected to increase to 132 million. Two things are clear: America's older adult population continues to grow, and the time to address their ability to age sagely in their own homes and communities is now. Studies show a strong link between hospital admission rates and nursing home placement. Seniors suffer a 23 percent risk of being unable to return home or requiring nursing home placement from even short hospitializations.

The 2017 Aging in Place $50k Challenge winner will be announced during the week of December 11, 2017 at a pitch event at the Rock Health office in San Francisco.

2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge Finalists

Dispatch Health
Dispatch Health is redefining healthcare delivery by providing convenient and affordable on-demand acute care services in the home.

FRND Health
FRND Health is a SaaS platform connecting payers and providers to a mobile network of RNs and NPs who visit patients’ homes between clinical visits.

RoundTrip provides healthcare professionals with a simple, web-based portal and mobile platform that connects patients with on-demand, non-emergency medical transportation. 

2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge Judges

Lisa Marsh Ryerson - AARP Foundation President

Liz Rockett – Managing Director, Kaiser Permanente Ventures

June Fisher, MD – Director, TDICT Project, Trauma Foundation

Chris Young – VP Innovation & New Virtual Market Development, Ascension Health

Learn more about last year's winner, finalists and judges.

University Business Plan Competition

The AARP Foundation Prize offers cash prizes to teams competing in existing business plan competitions at participating universities. Awards are given for solutions that best help low-income adults 50 and older achieve one or more of the following:

  • Continue to live safely, independently and comfortably in functional and affordable homes as they age
  • Access adequate and nutritious food
  • Increase or maintain their income
  • Enjoy the positive health outcomes of strong and sustaining social bonds

Additionally, AARP Foundation encourages solutions that are both practical and scalable in order to have the greatest possible impact.

How to Apply

  1. Select your university from the list of participating universities. You will be directed to your university’s business plan competition website.
  2. Review and comply with your university’s rules, and follow the process specified by your university to submit your business plan to the university’s business plan competition.
  3. Indicate in your submission that you wish to be considered for the AARP Foundation Innovation Prize. You do not need to contact AARP Foundation directly.
  4. AARP Foundation will work directly with your university and review your submission.
  5. AARP Foundation will present awards during the final awards ceremony at your university’s business plan competition.

If your university is not listed and you would like your university to participate in the AARP Foundation Prize, please contact us at

Participating Universities

You can register to compete for the AARP Foundation Prize if you enter one of these business plan competitions

Previous Winners

Emerald: Technology that uses radio waves to detect motion, falls, heart rate, breathing and patterns of daily activity without requiring the 50+ individual to wear any sensors.  –Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MySupport: Software that allows low-income 50+ to select their own home-healthcare worker based on aspects of affinity resulting in improved healthcare outcomes and reduced costs. –Tufts University

See the full list of winners >>


Connect With the Foundation

Contact Us

AARP Foundation Prize Contact


Twitter: @AARPFoundPrize


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