Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, and Experts in Marketing to Baby Boomers Convene at Santa Clara University June 16 – 17

Entrepreneurs and investors looking to ride the current over-45 demographic wave will convene next week at Santa Clara University for the 2009 Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit & Business Plan Competition. The event is sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and strategic business/communications firm Mary Furlong & Associates.

Among the topics on the program for the two-day event: financing a boomer-focused business; top 10 business-plan mistakes; social marketing to boomers, and lessons from entrepreneurs on marketing strategies, and methods to “scale’’ a business.

Top venture investors will share with attendees their financing priorities for the boomer and senior markets, what current research says about the market, and which areas are ripe for innovation and new product development.

For more information about the program, please visit www.scuboomerventure.com.

“We have recruited some of the most experienced experts on the baby boomer market to present during our program and to judge our business plans,” said Mary Furlong, boomer market analyst and event producer. “These people are passionate about business and new ventures that address the 45+ consumer market, and will share their thoughts on successful businesses as well as select the winning plan.”

The event will conclude with business-plan and elevator-pitch presentations, in which finalists will present their business ideas to a panel of judges. Winners receive a $10,000 grand prize or $1,000 for best elevator pitch.

Competition judges include:

  Amy Belt, Advanced Technology Ventures
  Andy Donner, Physic Ventures
  Jeannette de Noord, InnovationPoint
  Ken Dychtwald, Age Wave
  Elizabeth Ford, Santa Clara University
  Onne Ganel, Edwards Lifesciences
  Jody Holtzman, AARP
  Joshua Raffaeli, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  Nancy Kamei, Intel Capital
  Nate McLemore, Microsoft Health Solutions Group
  Shinobu Toyoda, Sega
  Jack Young, Qualcomm Ventures
  Peter Ziebelman, Palo Alto Venture Partners

The finalists in the business-plan competition who submitted plans in the areas of biodesign, medical devices, geriatrics, and gerontology are:

  Aaron Nelson, Audiallo
  Erika Palmer, HemRx Medical
  Jared Garfield, J & J Solutions
  Karen Routt, Magnolia Prime
  Kevin Chao, Miret
  Thanguy Chau, Novophage Therapeutics

Finalists for best elevator pitch are:

  Laura Nuhaan, FamiliLink
  Carrie Shores, Larson Shores Architects Inc.
  Heather Steven, Life at Home Longer
  Chris Clark, The Senior List
  John Smilgin, Traveling4Health

For more information about these the finalists, please visit http://www.scuboomerventure.com/B-Plan%20Competition_index.html


Grandparent Market – Where the Money is for Marketers?

Grandparents.  70 million of them in the US.  They buy $2 trillion worth of goods and services annually.  High levels of income and eduction. And they spend alot of money on their grandchildren.  And a whole lot of them are baby boomers!

The new report from grandparents.com takes a comprehensive look at the grandparent market — who they are, how they spend their money — and why marketers should pay attention.

Here are some of the facts:

  1. Three in every ten adults are grandparents.
  2. Medican age of a first time grandparent is 50 for women and 54 for men.
  3. By 2010, more than half of grandparent’s will be baby boomers.
  4. By 2010, households headed by 55-64 year olds will earn the highest average income, surpassing that of families headed by 45-54 year olds for the first time.
  5. Grandparent spending on grandchildren has grown an average of 7.6% per year since 2000.
  6. Grandparents make 45% of the nation’s cash contributions to nonprofit organizations and account for 42% of all consumer spending on gifts.

If you attended the Boomer summit in Las Vegas you might have had a chance to hear Jerry Shereshewsky talk about this market.  This is new research and well worth a read if this is your target market.

Find the report here

posted by Laura Rossman

Aging at Home Gets Push from GE and Intel

Any doubt that technology that helps you age at home should be brushed aside with the annoucnement  that Intel and GE are joining forces on home health care. Clearly the aging of the baby boom population is getting the attention of big companies and big dollars.

GE and Intel are joining forces to develop devices that help your doctor monitor the health of elderly and chronically ill patients at home.  The companies are putting more than $250 million behind research and marketing.

This is a clear signal that more of us will be receiving long-term care at home in the future rather than in a facility.  That’s good news since that’s where most of us say we want to stay! If you attended the Boomer Summit you probably heard Laurie Orlov  from Age  in Place Technology Watch talk about the potential growth in this market.

GE has a system called Quiet Care that lets physicians monitor patients for potential emergencies or waning signs, including falls.  Intel has a product called Health Guide, a lap-top sized device that collects vital signs and issues patient reminders.

We are at an inflection point on health care,” Paul Otellini, Intel’s chief executive, said Thursday during a press conference announcing the alliance. “It’s a topic that affects everyone on Earth.”

New Boomer Research at the Boomer Summit

March 19, 2009  Bally's Las Vegas

March 19, 2009 Bally's Las Vegas

Entrepreneurs and  executives from innovative companies around the country will be gathering at the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit in Las Vegas.

Here are some highlights.  If you haven’t registered there’s still time to register for the boomer summit.

Boomer behaviors and attitudes:  new research on what they are thinking now and how your marketing message needs to change to reach them.  Steve French, Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) shares the new research at 9:30 on March 19.

50+ Women on the Web:  VibrantNation.com releases a new white paper on social networking and women 50+. 

The study’s findings are of particular interest to marketers in this recessionary economy, where Vibrant Women are one of the dwindling number of consumer groups with available discretionary funds. Vibrant Women are in the prime of their lives and the healthiest, wealthiest, best-educated generation in history. Defying the stereotype of increasing marginalization as they age, this study confirmed that not only are their networks growing, they are growing online.


Trends in aging in place technology:  It is a $2 billion segment today that promises to be a $20 billion industry by 2020, according to Laurie Orlov’s new report. This is the first major market research report to take a comprehensive look at the technology that will help people live in their own homes She’s releasing her findings at the Summit on March 19.


Media should contact boomersummitlwr@gmail.com for further information.



Businesses Seeking Boomers Should Add Social Media to Marketing Mix

 More businesses are turning to the Internet to find and engage with baby boomer customers.  Boomers are using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and social networking sites in increasing numbers.  Business leaders will gather at the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit (www.boomersummit.com) on March 19 to find out how to effectively reach baby boomers online.


“Boomers are a natural fit for social networks and technologies. They have the time, the life experience, and—more and more these days—the need for social tools to help them accomplish their own goals.” said Matthew Lees, Vice President, Analyst, Patricia Seybold Group.


“The fact that they’ve been relatively slow to embrace social media underscores more of an opportunity than any innate inability or aversion. But they don’t want to be marketed to. Those organizations that can use social media to engage with, learn from, and support boomers will find especially receptive partners and, consequently, greater business success than those who see social media simply as another marketing channel.”.” Lees added.  Lees will present information at the Summit about boomers online and insight on how to effectively reach them.


Baby boomers are also actively engaged in user generated content such as ratings and reviews. “While it’s true that Millenials (the 13-24 generation) share content at double the rate of baby boomers (56%), 31% of Baby Boomers share their own user generated content. This could be in the form of reviews, blog posts, comments, discussion forums, etc.” noted Sam Decker, Chief Marketing Officer of Bazzaarvoice.  Decker will be at the Boomer Summit speaking about boomers and user generated content.

David Weigelt, co-author of Dot Boom, Marketing to Baby Boomers Online through Meaningful Online Engagement will speak about how to connect with boomers online.  The book unites a developmental marketing approach and a new definition of online engagement specific to baby boomer consumers — a combination that provides an actionable framework for connecting with these consumers online.


In the current economy, more businesses are seeking effective ways to reach the 58 million baby boomers online.  The What’s Next Boomer Business Summit (www.boomersummit.com) will include: New research on the new attitudes of baby boomers in this economy; how to market successfully to baby boomers online; search engine and key word strategies that work; how to create online boomer communities that build trust and sales; and, new ways to reach the 44 million caregivers.  


Other speakers include:

Entrepreneurship and social media: Guy Kawasaki, Author, founder Alltop


Networking -Ellen Levy, Vice President Corporate Development & Strategy, LinkedIn


Demographics – Jody Holtzman, Senior V.P., Research & Strategic Analysis, AARP


Money -Sandra Timmermann, Executive Director, MetLife Mature Market Institute


Caregiving – Andy Cohen, Founder & CEO, Caring.com


Online communities – Elisa Camahort Page, Founder & COO, BlogHer


Boomer women online – Carol Orsborn, PhD, Senior Strategist, Vibrantnation.com


Boomer volunteers – Sarah Christian, Director, Strategic Partnerships, VolunteerMatch


Brain fitness – Jeff Zimman, Co-founder & Chairman, Posit Science


Search engine strategies – Bill Leake, CEO, Apogee Search


Leading edge boomers – Jennifer Keating Magee, CEO, Keating Magee


New research– Steve French, Managing Partner, Natural Marketing Institute


Program, speaker and registration information is available at    Registration is just $325 until March 12.  The Summit is held in conjunction with the Aging in America Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging, March 15-19, 2009.. www.boomersummit.com


Attendees include brand managers, corporate strategists, entrepreneurs, non-profit executives, marketing agency executives and publishers responsible for growing their boomer business.


Sponsors include: AARP, Microsoft, Council on Aging Silicon Valley, Wells Fargo, Alltop, Caring.com, EquityKey, HeartMath, Immersion Active, Keating Magee, LiveWorld, MetLife Mature Market Institute, Myine Electronics, Posit Science, The Stress Institute, Verizon, Vibrantnation.com, VolunteeerMatch, Retirement Living TV, ReadHowYouWant, HipCricket, Life Stages Financial, grandparents.com and Moving Mavins.  Southwest Airlines is the official airline sponsor of the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit.

Oldest Baby Boomers and Youngest Differ on Money Issues

How Boomers Differ in Concerns About Money

How Boomers Differ in Concerns About Money

Oldest boomers and the youngest boomers differ in their concerns about retirement
The biggest concerns of younger boomers are outliving retirement money and having to work full or part-time.  among the older boomers, the biggest concerns are affording health care and staying productive and useful.  amazingly, a quarter of the older boomers surveyed by MetLife Mature Market Institute said they have no concerns about retirement.
This is just one of the findings of a new report from the MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMMI) called Boomer Bookends:  Insights into the Oldest and Youngest Boomers.  Sandra Timmermann, Director of the MMMI, will join us at the What’s Next Boomer Summit to talk about boomers and money (www.boomersummit.com).
The report compares the leading edge boomers (born in 1946) with the trailing edge boomers (those born in 1964).  Other differences among the oldest (1946) and youngest (1964) boomers:
The youngest boomers disassociate themselves with the term “boomer” and would rather consider themselves Generation X.
The youngest say they will consider themselves old at 71.  Oldest boomers say old is 78.
As part of this trend survey, some of the respondents from last year’s survey were recontacted.  Seventy-one percent of this small group who planned to retire fully at age 62 did not.  of those, 26% reported the current economic situation as the reason.  One in five said they need more money or income.
Read more about the survey results.

Baby Boomer Women Will Drive the Use of Social Media

forrester-research-on-social-mediaThere has been a flurry of blog postings lately on the wonder of baby boomers using social media and social networking.  It seems to stem from an updated report from Forrester Researcher Jeremiah Owyang . 

It’s no surprise to us and probably many of you who will be attending the Boomer Summit , March 19.   We’ve been posting other research on the increased use of social media by this demographic, especially some of the data coming out of the Pew Research Center.

We haven’t seen data broken down by gender, but believe that boomer women will drive the growth of social media in this demographic.  Why?  Social media is about relationships and women, as they age, rely heavily on their networks.  And in the current economy, women have face increasing pressures.  So they want to reach out to others to share stories and talk about  caregiving, adult children returning home, financially supporting their parents and their children, worrying about their job or lack of job,  sharing joys of grandparenting and successes and ways to keep the family closer as the life we expected increasingly feels like it is unraveling.

Sam Decker recently noted on his blog that Boomers make up of 35% of the Internet population.  He said, while it’s true that Millenials (the 13-24 generation) share content at double the rate of  baby boomers (56%), 31% of Baby Boomers share their own user generated content. This could be in the form of reviews, blog posts, comments, discussion forums, etc.  Sam,  CMO of Bazzaarvoice, will be at the Boomer Summit talking about about user generated content.

Carol Orsborn from VibrantNation.com  will talk about the use of social media by women; Andy Cohen from Caring.com  will share how marketers are using niche sites to reach boomer women caregivers; and Jerry Shereshewsky from Grandparents.com will talk about how  the  market of 70 million grandparents are using the Internet to share stories and buy for their grandchildren.