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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.

AARP Foundation Age in Place 2017 Winner

Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President of AARP Foundation, Bill Evans CEO and Managing Director of RockHealth, and the winner, DispatchHealth (Kevin Riddleberger, cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer, and Christine Greimann, Director of Market Development).

2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge 

DispatchHealth has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge, a startup competition for entrepreneurs with solutions that help vulnerable older adults remain in their homes and communities. The challenge focused on innovations that reduce unnecessary health care services, costs and hospital readmission rates while allowing older adults the opportunity to live independently in their homes. 2017 finalists were DispatchHealth, FRND Health, and RoundTrip.

DispatchHealth is a provider of mobile and virtual healthcare. They are working to redefine healthcare delivery by providing convenient and affordable on-demand acute care services in the home. 

The 2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge is part of AARP Foundation’s Innovation Prize, designed to seek out promising, effective, and scalable solutions and unlock new opportunities to help solve the problems so many low-income older adults face as they age.


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

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

AARP Foundation Prize Contact


Twitter: @AARPFoundPrize