Student Tech Competition to Target New Senior Living Solutions

Students this week will gather to compete on the latest in senior living technology solutions. Over two days held in conjunction with the 2013 LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, the inaugural “HackFest” is challenging student teams from universities across the country to create technology-driven tools that will aid the lives of older adults.

Through the competition, co-sponsored by Ziegler, student groups are being encouraged to “engage with age,” and will compete for a $5,000 prize for the winning technology solution.

Under the competition, the student teams will have one day to design their tool and present an implementation plan. They will be judged by a panel of industry experts in several categories: design relevance, feasibility, usability, and most developed. So far, students are committed from the University of Maryland, George Washington University and the University of Texas, among others. The eight teams comprise 42 students to date.


“There are several reasons to focus on the younger generation of innovators,” says Lisa McCracken, Senior Vice President, Senior Living Finance Research & Development for Ziegler. “First, the opportunity to promote intergenerational thinking and integration is something we are excited about. …Second, we wanted the participants to be from outside the traditional established organizations. This allows for independent thinking and innovation that can be fostered organically.”

The event will be featured at LeadingAge as part of an effort toward a new, dynamic event this year.

“Each year LeadingAge brings forth a new concept for the ever growing and changing aging population. And this year is no different,” said Dan Hermann, Senior Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Ziegler. “I am excited that Ziegler will be kicking off the inaugural HackFest competition. This is a great opportunity for us to continue to improve the lives of older adults through technology.”


Final judging for the competition will take place Sunday, October 27.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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