AgeTech Summit 2023 is a Wrap!

By Rick Robinson posted 09-18-2023 02:11 PM


On September 13th and 14th,  the AgeTech Collaborative™ (ATC) hosted the inaugural AgeTech Summit in Washington, D.C. — two days of talks, seminars, roundtables,  networking opportunities and a pitch competition focusing on the unique questions and concerns of ATC startups, enterprises, investors and testbeds who are driving the future of AgeTech. Based on feedback it was a smashing success!

Jim VandeHei, Co-founder and CEO of Axios

The conference, which hosted over 200 participants from ATC,  kicked off Wednesday afternoon with an “unconference” — a series of sessions with an agenda set by suggestions from the participants themselves to address top-of-mind concerns such as tactical and strategic questions, opportunities and barriers to innovation, and best practices.

Three rounds of breakout sessions followed with many more detailed discussions, including some lamenting about capital allocators ... well, not allocating capital quickly enough.

On Thursday morning, Jim VandeHei, Co-founder and CEO of Axios delivered the keynote address, which focused on the ups and downs of founding companies (he was also cofounder of Politico) and the importance of candor and honesty as a startup and growth company leader.  

VandeHei had numerous candid pieces of advice for the packed room, many about the need for transparency with staffs and how anyone with the right ambition and drive has a shot at being a successful entrepreneur. He actually thinks of himself as an "accidental founder" - not bad for building and selling a company for $500 million in five years.

All through the day ATC had convened "1-1" sessions among startups and other participants in the Collaborative, in the hope a match might be made, be it funding or commercial deal. After 67 sessions its seems many fruitful connections were made.

Thursday’s other general sessions included:

• Let's Talk About Aging | Trends & Insights about Growing Older in America: Seven AARP leaders and ATC subject matter experts scanning the landscape for new opportunities in AgeTech innovation offered a deep dive on the latest research. This was followed with breakout sessions by topic, including brain health, caregiving, consumer trends, financial wellness, social isolation, livable communities and policy and consumer advocacy.


Summit participants plan out their journey for the "unconference."

• Let's Talk About Tech | The Age of AI: Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to impact nearly every industry, including AgeTech. While some startups and enterprises are embracing its benefits – albeit with caution – many have been employing AI technology for years.

Rick Robinson, Vice President of ATC, moderated a panel discussion about the current state of AI, how AI is impacting products and what it means for the future. Panelists included Sami Hassanyeh (Chief Digital Officer, AARP), Patty Obermaier (Emerging Growth Officer, Global Health and Life Sciences, Microsoft), Nick Desai (CEO, Together by Renee) and Victor Wang (CEO,

Victor Wang, CEO of speaks about the value of AI and HealthTech.

• Let’s Talk About Scale: In breakout sessions, industry leaders representing key fields in AgeTech talked about how startups, testbeds and enterprises intersect with distribution channels, discussing ways to get more innovative products to market and achieving impact at scale. Breakout session topics and speakers included:

• AARP Services, Inc.: Catherine Hailey and Meredith Lederman, Corporate Development, AARP Services, Inc. 

• Corporate Benefits: David Stark, Chief Medical Officer & Global Head of Benefits, Morgan Stanley

• Long Term Care: Rhett Wieland, VP, Long Term Care Claims Strategy, Prudential Financial

• Payors/Medicare: Charlotte Yeh, Chief Medical Officer, AARP Services, Inc. 

• Hospital/Health Systems: Marie Cleary-Fishman & Doug Shaw, American Hospital Association 

• Senior Living Operator: James Balda, President & CEO, Argentum 

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins addresses ATC participants at the Summit.

The Summit wound down with an Ask Me Anything session and talk by Andy Miller, (AARP Senior Vice President, Innovation and Product Development) on “How Do We Shape the ATC Ecosystem Going Forward?”

This was followed by the AgeTech After Dark Pitch Challenge and Reception, which featured six companies competing for a grand prize of $10,000 and a chance to join the ATC.

Audience choice went to  Kalagon, which allows customers to "live an active seated life."

The grand prize winner was One true health!


Following the conference, participants took to social media to discuss their experiences and we at ATC are grateful for the their comments but also for the great contributions throughout the event. 

A few of the comments can be found here.

Shawn Smith & Jerry Malone of 1 True Health  winning the AgeTech After Dark pitch.