When you hear about startups, especially in the tech world, do you automatically assume the founders are in their 20s or maybe 30s? Banish the thought! These days, with seniors focusing on healthy aging, startups are just as likely to be in the hands of those over 65. Take a look at these exciting startups, all founded by entrepreneurs over 60 focused on making a difference.
Pat Crosscombe, 60, is the founder and CEO of BoardSpace, an innovative software company that streamlines the record-keeping tasks of a Board of Directors so the Directors can instead focus on making smart decisions. Crosscombe launched the company after serving as the president of her own condominium property's board, and intends the software to help nonprofit organizations, including homeowner associations, housing co-ops, and community associations.
Above: Martin Dawes
Above: Mark E. Gelfer
Have you ever been concerned about whether you're getting the prescription you need? That's why Gelfer, 68, joined with Dawes, 69, to found GenXys, a tech startup that provides precision prescription software to healthcare companies. The software helps medical professionals avoid adverse drug reactions in their patients, while increasing drug efficacy and reducing healthcare costs as a result. Gelfer, a family physician, began flexing his entrepreneurial skills 20 years ago with other medical tech companies, always with an eye to innovating clinical practices. Dawes, also a physician, spent 30 years directing medical programs at the U.K. Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia before leaping into the entrepreneurial world to help found GenXys.
With Martin J. Dymek, 63, at the helm, Navigate Surgical Technologies has helped pave the path of dynamic surgical navigation, in which real-time motion tracking guides surgeons as they place stents and other implants. Dymek brings his decades of business experience in the dental industry to bear as he leads this innovative med tech company.
Agriculture is a field where big data can make a difference, but it's rarely used. Israel Fraier, 63, is well-known in Israel as the founder and CEO of AgriTask, an integrative platform that helps companies in global agriculture stay on top of field data and use precision agronomy to optimize crop growth and manage crop risk preemptively. Fraier has a long history of creating innovative tech products with an eye to generating marketable solutions.
Sometimes seniors need a little encouragement and guidance to step into the entrepreneurial world. Not only did Elizabeth Isele, 77, become an entrepreneur late in life (after a distinguished career as an author and philanthropist) she's also opening doors to help other seniors become entrepreneurs through the Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship, where she's the founding CEO. Isele also founded Senior Entrepreneurship Works and Savvy Seniors Work, all of which empower cross-generational experiential entrepreneurship. This one entrepreneur over 60 has launched many more!
Camilla Olson, 63, has founded four companies. Most recently, she founded Savitude, which uses machine learning to help mobile shoppers choose body-positive clothing based on their personal body shape and proportions. Savitude and Olson have been honored by Techcrunch Disrupt Battlefield NY 2017, Project Entrepreneur 2017 and Techstars 2017.
Accidents on large construction projects can be deadly. Gabi Szabadi, 66, founded his tech startup iotProximity to help reduce those accidents by leveraging the abilities of AI smart cameras, electromagnetism, lidar/radar, and sensor fusion to create virtual safety barriers around construction sites, resulting in fewer accidents. His innovative know-how made Szabadi a winner of the Wise 50 Over 50 Award in 2018.
Robert Young, 74, brought more than 30 years of experience in developing successful pharmaceuticals to his startup Mesentech. This new med tech company focuses on delivering medicines directly to bone tissue, with its first drug aimed at reversing bone loss. Young's past experience and successes have earned him the Heroes of Chemistry and Order of Canada awards.
Zohar Zisapel, 70, is the co-founder of Innoviz Technologies, which produces high-performance Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging tech, similar to radar) sensors and software used by autonomous vehicles. Zisapel sits on the board of several companies and was previously head of the Israel Ministry of Defense's Electronic Research Department.
These successful baby boomers all share one trait in common. They have no interest whatsoever in slowing down. And they understand how important it is to live a productive life, no matter how old they are. Take inspiration from these and other entrepreneurs over 60 who continue to make a difference in your own part of the world.
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