Startup Weekend 50+

Creating business innovation to the 50+ market


Don’t refer to them as elderly or the third age, they’re mature! Nowadays, those who passed the 50 years old already represent a significant share of the world’s population – and are also becoming an important market force. Said that we must start thinking about how to innovate for them and together with them. During a weekend in July, we had the pleasure to get close to this public.

We proudly hosted the 50+ edition of the Startup Weekend, a global event powered by Google for entrepreneurs. Being part of this brought lots of energy to us. An impressive number of more than a hundred attendees gathered into fourteen teams in order to create innovations with a focus on the 50+ public. Besides that, our CEO Levi Girardi composed the body of mentors, who helped the teams to get their ideas well finished and presented during a pitch session. 

According to the organization team, “this edition was the first in the world to join different generations together. With participants from their late twenties to the 80+, the focus was to develop solutions to the 50+. During 54 hours, solutions that aimed at digital inclusion, work generation, logistics and mobility were created. The SW50+ edition was a total success, confirming the potential of diversity in the ideation processes and in the creation of solutions able to improve the lives of the 50+”.

Business generation

A Startup Weekend (SW) works as a hackathon, where people get together to create a startup within three days. And it can become very intense!

In the very first day, on Friday, the participants are introduced to the event’s concept and agenda. They understand how the process works and also have the time to present their first rough ideas for a possible startup idea. Usually, is common to have people who already came with an idea ready to be developed, but also others who create then at the spot. Lining up for a one minute pitch, they have to explain the basics about their proposal and try to find members who might be willing to join their teams.

It’s never too late to become an entrepreneur

“As a mentor at the Startup Weekend in Tokyo, I had the chance to experience a SW a few times. However, in the ones which I had the chance to participate, the participants were mainly coming from tech, design or innovation industries. Meanwhile, at the 50+ edition, we meet a totally different group of people. A group that had energy the energy of millennials ready to rock”, says Mateus Bagatini, responsible to community management at Questtonó.

Focused on creating an intergenerational environment, we could see many different age layers, working together to develop new solutions to the generation with fifty years or plus.

Real solutions

Joining a Startup Weekend might seem like a lot of fun, an opportunity to socialize and meet new people. And it really is, however, the participants are not there to play! Usually, besides the Friday night, where everyone learns more about the workflow, the participants stay working the whole weekend from 10 am until 10 pm. Then, in two days, their ideas will go from zero to hero, a flow usually adopted during hackathons.

After creating an idea able to give an answer to a problem, they run a validation by interviewing people on the streets. From the collected insights, a solution must be created. After improving and designing it, the team has to present it during the final pitch session. During the work hours, many of the participants, sometimes with no experience in the startup world, are helped by mentors – professionals who work in business, technology, design and innovation. 

For this edition, our CEO, Levi Girardi was part of the body of mentors, helping the fourteen teams to shape their ideas and make them ready for the pitch. He points out that “in spite of their vast experience and career, especially when taking into consideration the group’s age range, he could feel the participants totally open to discussions and willing to receive feedback”. He also adds that “this shows that one of the most important legacies of experience is definitely developing the ability to listen, learn and then just apply things that might make real sense” 

The pitch

With the slides ready, every startup needed to present their idea during the pitch session. Which is evaluated by a judge able to give feedback that can actually add positive insights to the ideas. For the 50+ edition, was Cléa Klouri, director of growth at Silver Makers, Elisabeth Fernandes, innovation and entrepreneurship at SEBRAE and Fábio Ota, CEO of ISGAME, who chose the best three ideas of the weekend.

In the end, the first place was occupied by “Duplique o Bem” (Multiply the good), an online entertainment platform where high-income people pay an extra percentage for their tickets, which will be used to sponsor tickets to low-income mature people.

Human first

Usually, 12{5011629ed276fdcc257f5eb265cb0d6224a0a9f285012a768428be3b22304bbb} of all the ideas generated during a Startup Weekend become real startups. However, more than creating the new unicorn, the experience during the event is priceless. 

We are talking about an event where different ideas get together, where people get to know themselves and end up creating opportunities for each other. And in many occasions, it can even become a landmark in their lives, pushing them towards a big life change where they can reinvent themselves.

“And I’m sure that this edition, focused on the 50+ pushed it to some levels never before seen. It was amazing to be close to many inspiring people, from the participants to the mentors and organization team, who shared their knowledge and time in order to create a memorable event. As a former SW’s mentor and a member of Questtonó, I’m extremely thankful for having the opportunity to host this special edition of an SW. And we are looking forward to receiving it again in our space”, completes Bagatini.