Alive Ventures Launches with $12M in Funding to Build a New Generation of Companies Focused on Beautiful Design for Older People

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Alive Ventures today announced that it has formally spun out of Long Beach-based The…

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Alive Ventures today announced that it has formally spun out of Long Beach-based The SCAN Foundation, launching as a dedicated startup studio focused on imagining and building companies, products and services to help older adults live, work and love. The startup studio’s formal spinout is supported with a $12 million phased investment from The Scan Foundation, which has been transforming care for older adults for more than a decade and whose financial commitment will provide a long-term runway for the studio as it develops its portfolio of companies and partners.

Bringing together design talent, seasoned entrepreneurial talent and older adults themselves to co-design and launch new generations of beautifully designed products, Alive Ventures is focused exclusively on an underserved market of 55 million older Americans. The studio is tackling a problem at the crossroads of myriad cultural, economic and generational issues. From reductionist stereotypes of aging, to a lack of cultural currency and status, adults age 65 and up have historically been an overlooked audience for design-led brands.

Alive Ventures is catalyzing a new generation of design-led companies and talent, fostering an aspirational design culture anchored in the beauty of later life. This movement will bring an inspired and joyful lens to later adulthood, aiming to elevate consciousness of what older adults already know as truth: experiences of love, work, friendships and vitality become deeper and richer with age. Alive Ventures believes this truth should be reflected in beautifully designed products and services for older adults.

Alive Ventures is led by social impact and design visionary John Zapolski, who has deep experience conceiving and building companies at the intersection of social impact and design. John is the creator of STEAM Carnival, a live entertainment brand that inspired kids to invent with science, technology, engineering, art, and math, and he is a co-founder of Fonderie 47, a fine jewelry and timepiece company developed to remove and destroy assault weapons from conflict zones, upcycling them into meaningful, elegant accessories.

«While an increasing number of companies, investors, and government agencies recognize the growing importance of serving older Americans well, relatively few entrepreneurs give serious consideration to the opportunities to build world class products and services for the wants and needs of older people,» said John Zapolski, Founder, Alive Ventures. «We hope to change that with Alive Ventures, demonstrating that there are multi-billion dollar markets waiting to be developed by delivering great design to the 55 million older adults in the U.S.»

Alive Ventures’ model is also rooted in economic pragmatism: entrepreneurs who make the leap and build for an older audience need to be supported by an ecosystem that helps de-risk the process. Alive Ventures has initially focused on developing key components of a new product design ecosystem for older adults:

Deep Consumer Insights: Over the past 18 months, Alive Ventures hosted a series of 15 co-design sessions across the United States, inviting older Americans into the concept design and ideation process. The workshop series helped Alive Ventures to deeply understand and gather unique insights on how older people see Love, Vitality, Work and Friendship, including what these topics mean to older people, how these areas have evolved or stayed the same over the course of their lives and how older people might re-imagine life in these categories. The knowledge gained and the active panel of participants are a cornerstone insights resource for Alive Ventures at launch and beyond.

Proven Customer Acquisition Strategies: One of the biggest barriers to attracting entrepreneurial talent into product design for older audiences is a fledgling level of awareness, knowledge and experience with user acquisition. Tactics like growth hacking and virality that have been successfully applied to younger audiences are often ineffective with older audiences. Through the scale and diversity of its projected areas of focus (co-living, dating, social connection, cooking, advice, income generation and more), Alive will identify effective growth strategies and replicate those strategies across its incubated startups.

Early Stage Resources: Customer acquisition strategies will be supported by the right mix of resources to execute against those strategies. Alive Ventures brings several resources into the mix, including its own team of in-house design talent and an array of external partners across business development, marketing, sales and the venture capital and investor community.

About Alive Ventures

Alive Ventures is a startup studio that imagines and builds companies, products and services that help older adults live, work and love. Exclusively serving an audience of 55 million older Americans, Alive Ventures brings together design talent, seasoned entrepreneurial talent and older adults themselves to co-design and launch new generations of beautifully designed products that older adults love to use and share. By marrying the wisdom and lived experiences of older adults with deep consumer insights, proven customer acquisition strategies and valuable early stage resources, Alive Ventures helps de-risk the traditional startup process while attracting high-caliber design and entrepreneurial talent to its mission. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Alive Ventures