Aging in place start-up K4Connect has been selected for the National Association of Realtors’ 2021 Tech Accelerator.
North Carolina start-up K4Connect is behind the K4Community solution, a single “operating system” for senior living communities that brings together a wide range of smart products for residents, staff and operators in a single, simple interface. Now Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors, has announced that K4Connect is one of eight technology companies selected for the 2021 REACH scale-up programme.
SCV, which claims to be the most active global venture fund in real estate technology, operates the award-winning REACH growth programme in five major, international markets. The 2021 REACH cohort will focus on scaling high-growth potential technology companies in and beyond the residential real estate sector.
Longevity.Technology: According to the report Three Trends Shaping the Politics of Aging in America: “Between 2016 and 2026, the employment of home health and personal care aides will increase by 41%, far outpacing the average growth of all occupations .”
We are glad to see K4Connect given further opportunity to scale up, building on their Amazon partnership. Aging in place (the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level) is becoming a paramount concern as the silver tsunami looms ever larger, so much so, that Longevity.Technology is preparing a market intelligence report on aging in place to be published later this year.
SCV President and NAR CEO Bob Goldberg said the REACH programme will “support forward-thinking small businesses, investments today which will allow us to overcome the complex problems of tomorrow.”
Companies selected for the 2021 REACH programme offer pioneering tools and solutions for multiple aspects of the market, including senior living services and independent living strategies. Collectively, these companies have raised more than $700 million in capital, employ more than 125 people worldwide and represent a valuation in excess of $1 billion.
The US holds the greatest share of the multi-trillion dollar global longevity economy and the majority share of global longevity industry companies and players. However, it also has one of the highest rates of healthcare expenditure, and, according to a report from Aging Analytics, despite having all the resources necessary to become a global leader in longevity, is held back by a lack of national prioritisation by its federal government and lack of strategy to unitIe the activities of its relevant industry ecosystems to work in synergy.
A paper in The Gerontologist sets the scene for the future clearly. “Older people want choices about where and how they age in place. “Aging in place” was seen as an advantage in terms of a sense of attachment or connection and feelings of security and familiarity in relation to both homes and communities. Aging in place related to a sense of identity both through independence and autonomy and through caring relationships and roles in the places people live.
“Aging in place operates in multiple interacting ways, which need to be taken into account in both policy and research. The meanings of aging in place for older people have pragmatic implications beyond internal “feel good” aspects and operate interactively far beyond the “home” or housing.”
We are glad to see the 2021 REACH programme include K4Connect and look beyond the real estate market to the adjacent – and far more critical – longevity market, encouraging aging in place strategies that will become key to healthspan, lifespane and healthcare.