Companies working in aging and technology band together

www.bizjournals.com
Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal by Diana Samuels, Reporterh

If there is anyone who has a broad understanding of how companies are using technology to help improve the lives of seniors, it is Peter Radsliff.

Radsliff leads a nonprofit consortium of nearly 70 businesses that work in fields related to aging and technology, called the Aging Technology Alliance or AgeTek. I spoke with him about trends in the industry for a story in this week’s Business Journal.

The organization was founded in 2009, in an organic fashion. Radsliff said it all started when he spoke at a conference on technology and aging, and the CEO of GrandCare Systems [Charlie Hillman], a company in the space, was in the audience. The company got in touch with Radsliff and asked him to speak as part of a webinar [What is now the Aging and Technology Webinar]. But the day of the webinar, Radsliff finished his talk early. Left without a specific subject to speak about, he started reflecting on how hard business was during the recession.

“I just threw it out there, I said, ‘Would anybody be interested in doing any co-marketing, or sharing of best practices, or any other kind of back-scratching activity to help each other as small business people?'” he said. “The outpouring from them was phenomenal. It kind of set me aback actually.” Of course, then he also ended up running the organization.

“I realized, ‘Great, I now have another full-time job on top of my day job,” said Radsliff jokingly, who is also CEO of Los Altos-based Presto. The company makes a system that automatically prints out emails for seniors or others who don’t have a computers.

Radsliff said AgeTek aims to “look after the business needs of its members.” “We each try to help each other to do what the company needs,” he said. “That can be anywhere from facilitated access to other companies, it could just be just making relationships and finding synergies.”

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