Scottsdale-based Envoy America, a senior ride program that serves seniors in the greater Tucson and Phoenix areas, recently won the Sacramento, California Chapter’s Aging2.0 Global Startup Search competition. The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix utilizes Envoy America for its senior transportation program.
The contest was focused on identifying the best aging-focused startups. By winning the Sacramento Chapter contest, Envoy America will compete against other chapter winners at the national Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE Conference in San Francisco, Nov. 14-15. Google for Entrepreneurs supports the contest.
Envoy America operates a ridesharing platform and mobile application that matches seniors who cannot drive, don’t want to drive or shouldn’t drive themselves, with driver companions. The mature, trained, secure driver companions help seniors to run errands, visit doctors, go out with friends, visit museums or shows, and attend to other daily needs outside the home.
The company applied to pitch its service in both Sacramento and Phoenix and was chosen to compete at both locations. Only eight companies are selected in each chapter from among 50 or so applicants. After being chosen by the Sacramento Chapter, the company withdrew from the Phoenix event in order to give other companies an opportunity to compete.
“The pitch itself was a lot like the TV show ‘Shark Tank,’ but we were only given five minutes to present, with an additional two minutes for questions from the judges,” said CEO K.C. Kanaan, who co-founded Envoy America with Andy Beran. “We were extremely humbled that the Sacramento judges unanimously chose us as the first-place pitch winner and we’re excited to compete for the national title.”
The grand prize winner at the national competition receives a $10,000 prize, but perhaps the greatest benefit is national exposure for a company, which can attract potential investors.
“Senior transportation is a major problem in the U.S. that impacts millions of seniors,” according to a study published by Transportation for America and AARP.