The Biggest Market Opportunity For Start-Ups is Older Americans, Rather than Millennials

Constance Gustke reported in the business section of today’s New York Times that, “With an estimated 74.9 million baby boomers, according to Pew Research Center, the biggest market opportunity for start-ups is older Americans rather than hip millennials. As members of the generation that defined rock ’n’ roll grow older, they are adding a wide range of goods and services to their lifestyles.

The staggering size of the total longevity economy — bigger even than Japan’s — has been attracting more entrepreneurs, deep-pocketed financiers and places to pitch new ideas in the past few years.”

Today’s article indicated that, “‘Every dissonance of age is a marketing opportunity,’ said Mary Furlong, a marketing and strategy consultant for the 50-plus market and author of ‘Turning Silver Into Gold.’

New business ideas that cater to boomers are nearly endless, she said, and include chefs, online dating sites and yoga instructors for people with health issues.”

Ms. Gustke also explained that, “Now, AARP holds yearly pitch events and even has its own incubator, The Hatchery…[A]t AARP’s first health innovations pitch event in 2012, 80 companies applied, [Jody Holtzman, senior vice president for market innovation at AARP] said. This year’s event in April, which focused on caregiving, had 200 applicants. This segment has already attracted many well-funded start-ups, like Honor, HomeHero and CareLinx.”

The Times article added that, “Even businesses with decidedly mundane products are finding ways to capture the longevity niche. Foot care, for example, is a huge market, and ‘finding shoes that are attractive and feel good is a huge deal,’ [Lori Bitter, who heads The Business of Aging, a consulting firm based in Napa, Calif.] said.”

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