Start-up Plus awards Han (82) with EUR 10K funding

Start-up Plus awards 82-year-old app creator with EUR 10K funding

2 minute read

Han van Doorn has secured funding from Aegon to continue to build his venture, of the ‘Are you OK today?’ app. The 82-year-old Dutchman received a cheque for EUR 10,000 as winner of Start-up Plus, an Aegon-supported online learning program for entrepreneurs over 50.

Han developed a self-learning app that connects to the electricity meter box and tracks user behavior. If the app detects a change from normal behavior which could indicate a fall or other emergency, it asks the user to check in. If there is no reply, the app sends a signal to a caregiver.

'My son is keen to know that his old dad is alright, but I'd rather not carry an alarm button with me all the time, nor have cameras in my house. As I value my privacy, I have programmed my personal version of the app to check with me first. If I don't respond, then my son is alerted,' according to Han.

Han won the cash prize and was named winner of the pilot of the Start-up Plus Program after a thrilling final round, hosted at Aegonplein last week. His initiative also won the audience award. The event begun with an inspirational speech by founder of Dutch 50+ broadcaster Omroep MAX Jan Slagter and ended with an appearance by Dutch entrepreneur and investor Annemarie van Gaal, who moderated the grand finale.

The jury quiz the finalists on their business ideas

The jury (pictured from left to right) consisted of banking entrepreneur Thierry Schaap, Aegon NL COO Wim Hekstra, Leyden Academy's Ineke Vlek, customer experience expert Gayana Helder and start-up consultant Tony de Bree. They chose Han's pitch from a pool of six finalists.

Diek van Laarhoven and Inge Letschert: 
An online marketplace where informal carers can find support, as well as flexible and reliable substitute carers. (1st runner up)

Saskia Danen de Vries:
The Dementia Academy. Health professionals can gather the latest research and information about dementia via their phone, tablet or pc.

Klaartje Gisolf:
Upcycle Factory. A workplace for 65 to 99 year olds where discarded materials are turned into handmade and sustainable products.

Ilse Pols: 
Supporting informal carers with knowledge on relevant laws and regulations, as well as supporting them from a social and emotional perspective.

Robert Jan Everts:
A new energy drink made from natural ingredients, developed for gamers.

Start-up Plus
Start-up Plus is an 8-week online learning and coaching program developed by the Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, together with Aegon. Over 50 participants used the time and resources offered to understand the essentials of what it means to become an entrepreneur. Aegon's involvement is a great fit with our purpose of helping people achieve a lifetime of financial security.

Research published by Forbes proves that entrepreneurs over 50 are much more successful than those in their thirties . Aegon's own research also shows that more than half of workers (54%) say they will change the way they work or continue working in retirement.

Silver Starters in Poland
In Poland, Aegon has become a partner of Silver Starters, a program similar to Startup Plus. The Silver Starters finale took place on November 28. The winning idea was "Virtual Experts", a cooperative that would bring together seniors who, as freelancers, can provide services and assistance to businesses with some activities that can be outsourced, such as document organization, data entry, concierge services.

Images of the Start-up Plus final

Han van Doorn accepts the prize. Also pictured from left to right, Tineke Abma, director of the Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing; Aegon's Wim Hekstra and grand finale moderator Annemarie van Gaal.

The jury listen to the participants' pitches.

(Left to right) Diek van Laarhoven and Inge Letschert, who were the first runners up in the competition, discuss their concept of an online marketplace for informal carers with moderator Annemarie van Gaal.

Jan Slagter, founder of Dutch 50+ broadcaster Omroep MAX, talks about entrepreneurship.