Investing in Life’s Third Act

Announcing Third Act Ventures

I’m excited to announce the branding of my venture firm Third Act Ventures. This is the capstone of all of the research and work I’ve done over the past few years. It represents the boundless opportunities I see in developing technology to improve the lives of older adults.

“Third Act” is a reference to the life stage the investments focus on. It’s what follows after life’s first two acts: childhood & adulthood. In the literary world the third act is commonly referred to as the “Resolution”, it’s where the story and subplots are all wrapped up nicely. We’ve moved past the setup and the action, now it’s time to tie everything up before the close. The End. But while that may have been true for our ancestors’ third act, rapid advances in technology and medicine have made this no longer a time of ending but a new beginning. All grown-up, relieved of child-rearing responsibilities, and having amassed a lifetime of savings, this period of life offers the greatest opportunity to pursue one’s passion and dreams, whatever they might be.

But while at this stage of life we have time and money like never before, few companies are focused on making products that serve our wants and desires. The innovation ecosystem is so focused on fantastical ideas of a future that may or may not arrive in our lifetime — brain chips, uber drones, asteroid mining —that it’s overlooking the guaranteed and obvious: the population is getting older and there’s a ton of low-hanging fruit because right now the experience flat-out sucks.

Investors have almost completely ignored this space. With a few notable exceptions venture dollars haven’t gone toward upending the antiquated trillion dollar elder care market, capturing the two hundred billion dollars older adults spend on CPG, or profiting off the myriad of other things those with a lifetime of savings are spending their money on.

On the innovation side things are finally beginning to change. More and more entrepreneurs’ eyes are opening to the opportunities in aging and are finding traction. SilverTech companies like Eversound which has rolled out its group wireless headphones to over 400 senior communities; Papa which has expanded its reach of “grandkids on-demand” to 14 areas in its first 1.5 years of existence; and Care.Coach which has not only been awarded millions in grants but also inked deals with major medical providers.

Once operating at scale, Silvertech companies have had some success accessing capital through avenues such as PE funds and traditional banks, however there remain few if any options for startups trying to get off the ground. This is what Third Act Ventures is working to fix.

Third Act Ventures is filling the funding gap for early-stage Silvertech startups.

One venture firm alone can’t bring about the disruption necessary to significantly improve the way we age. To attract more investment we need to produce the big wins, which is why Third Act Ventures’ goal will always first and foremost be to produce superior returns. The beauty of this industry is that it’s already set up for outsized success, trillions of dollars are already being spent by or for older adults, mostly on inefficient, antiquated, and often demeaning products and services. Exits like Best Buy’s $800mm acquisition of GreatCall are beginning to light the way, but we need more, and that is what Third Act Ventures is going to make happen.

Investing in Life’s Third Act was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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