Startups focusing on aging have a home in new Kendall Square incubator


Agency, a new business incubator located in Kendall Square, is attracting an intergenerational mix of entrepreneurs who are working on projects that make aging less disruptive and more fulfilling for older adults. Agency wants to accelerate the velocity of progress with the aim of commercializing products and services to help the world’s aging populations and their families and care partners. For more information, follow our link to the Boston Globe.

The name of Boston’s Commission on Affairs of the Elderly has been officially changed to the Age Strong Commission.

By Robert Weisman | Boston Globe.

CAMBRIDGE — Business incubators tend to be buzzing hives of young disrupters. But a new co-working space for startups in Kendall Square is aiming for a different vibe.

Agency, ramping up in a hip new Cambridge Innovation Center building at 245 Main St., styles itself as a “global longevity collective.” It’s designed as a gathering place for aging innovators. And it’s drawing an intergenerational mix of entrepreneurs — with a generous sprinkle of gray hair — working on projects to make aging less disruptive, and more fulfilling, for older folks.

“We want to accelerate the velocity of progress in this field,” said Agency’s cofounder and launch director, Danielle Duplin. “The aim is to commercialize some incredible products and services that help the world’s aging populations and their families and care partners.”

As better medicines, diets, and fitness regimens extend life spans, populations are growing older in most developed countries. Older people in the United States alone represent an $8 trillion market, according to Joe Coughlin, founder and director of the MIT Age Lab. But the market demand isn’t only for consumer goods: It’s for help with the myriad health, housing, transportation, and lifestyle challenges that accompany the graying of the planet.

“Everyone knows we have to start thinking seriously about these issues,” said Tim Rowe, founder of the Cambridge Innovation Center, which is hosting the new collective.

While startups are still being recruited, nine are already working out of its second-floor space. They’re developing products ranging from sensor-equipped braces called “exoskeletons” for people with injuries or neurological conditions to smart watches that detect falls and prompt seniors to take their meds at designated times.

“My mom was always forgetting her medications, and I was always calling her in India to remind her,” said Jayanthi Narasimhan, chief executive of WatchRX, which is working on a smart watch for seniors. “They won’t have to do any setup — just charge it and wear it.” Read More

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