The Heights

An information and resource concierge in the pursuit of happiness.

You, Inc. (Part IV): Venture

Anti-aging industry set to hit $114-billion

People spend a lot of money each year in the quest of eternal youth and beauty, and that number is only going to get bigger as younger people hope to stave off the aging process.
According to an infographic posted on, the value of the industry in 2011 was estimated at $80-billion, and is set to reach $114-billion by the year 2015 if current trends continue.
Some of the highlights include:
- Women spend $330 annually on hair colour treatments
- Following a Consumer Reports investigation, most wrinkle creams, eye creams and wrinkle serums were found to have little effect
- Over five million Botox injections were given in 2011, making it the most common anti-aging procedure. Thigh lift was one of the least common procedures with just under 10,000 performed in 2011.
See the infographic below for a more detailed breakdown of the types of anti-aging procedures being performed, and just how people are spending their beauty dollars.…194048553.html

Boomers Will Be Pumping Billions Into Anti-Aging Industry NEW YORK — Baby boomers heading into what used to be called retirement age are providing a 70 million-member strong market for legions of companies, entrepreneurs and cosmetic surgeons eager to capitalize on their “forever young” mindset, whether it’s through wrinkle creams, face-lifts or workout regimens.
It adds up to potential bonanza. The market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects that a boomer-fueled consumer base, “seeking to keep the dreaded signs of aging at bay,” will push the U.S. market for anti-aging products from about $80 billion now to more than $114 billion by 2015.
The boomers, who grew up in a culture glamorizing youth, face an array of choices as to whether and how to be a part of that market.
Anti-aging enthusiasts contend that life spans can be prolonged through interventions such as hormone replacement therapy and dietary supplements. Critics, including much of the medical establishment, say many anti-aging interventions are ineffective or harmful.
From mainstream organizations such as the National Institute on Aging, the general advice is to be a skeptical consumer on guard for possible scams involving purported anti-aging products.
“Our culture places great value on staying young, but aging is normal,” the institute says. “Despite claims about pills or treatments that lead to endless youth, no treatments have been proven to slow or reverse the aging process.”
Its advice for aging well is basic: Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, don’t smoke.
“If someone is promising you today that you can slow, stop or reverse aging, they’re likely trying hard to separate you from your money,” said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s School of Public Health who has written extensively about aging.
“It’s always the same message: `Aging is your fault and we’ve got the cure,’” Olshansky said. “Invest in yourself, in the simple things we know work. Get a good pair of running or walking shoes and a health club membership, and eat more fruits and vegetables.”
But such advice hasn’t curtailed the demand for anti-aging products, including many with hefty price tags that aren’t covered by health insurance. These include cosmetic surgery procedures at $10,000 or more, human growth hormone treatment at $15,000 per year and a skin-care product called Peau Magnifique that costs $1,500 for a 28-day supply.
Another challenge for consumers is that many dietary supplements and cosmetics, unlike prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, aren’t required to undergo government testing or review before they are marketed. The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission do crack down at times on egregiously false anti-aging claims, but generally there’s little protection for people who don’t get hoped-for results.
Mary Engle, director of the FTC’s division of advertising practices, said her agency focuses on the cases that could cause serious harm, such as bogus cancer treatments that might prompt an ill person to forgo proper care.
She said the agency lacks the resources to crack down comprehensively on ads with exaggerated claims that exploit customers’ hopes for better looks or more energy.
“Often it doesn’t rise to the level of fraud,” she said. “There are so many problematic ads out there and we really have to pick and choose what we focus on.”
In contrast to the caution of mainstream organizations, there are many vocal promoters of anti-aging products and procedures, including the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. It hosts annual conferences in the U.S. and abroad, and claims 22,000 members, mostly physicians.
In its mission statement, the academy says the disabilities associated with normal aging “are caused by physiological dysfunction which in many cases are ameliorable to medical treatment, such that the human life span can be increased.”
One of the academy’s co-founders is Robert Goldman, a doctor of osteopathic medicine. He contends that much of the resistance to the anti-aging movement comes from sectors of the health and pharmaceutical industries that feel threatened financially – for example by the surging use of over-the-counter nutritional supplements.
“It all has to do with who’s controlling the dollars,” he said.
Though many anti-aging interventions are expensive, Goldman said people on tight budgets still can take useful steps such as drinking purified water, taking vitamins and using sun screen.
“People should be healthy and strong well into 100 to 120 years of age,” Goldman says in a biographical video. “That’s what’s really exciting – to live in a time period when the impossible is truly possible.”
Olshansky, who over the years has been among Goldman’s harshest critics, believes there will be scientific breakthroughs eventually, perhaps based on studies of the genes of long-lived people, that will help slow the rate of aging.
In the meantime, Olshansky says, “I understand the need for personal freedom, the freedom to make bad decisions.”


Hormone replacement therapy:
Numerous companies and clinics promote hormone replacement drugs, including testosterone for men and custom-mixed “bioidentical” hormones for women, as a way to slow the aging process.
Many consumers have seen ads featuring muscle-bound Dr. Jeffry Life, now 72. He used testosterone and human growth hormone in his own bodybuilding regimen and recommends hormonal therapy for some of the patients patronizing his age-management practice in Las Vegas.
The FDA has approved hormone replacement drugs for some specific purposes related to diseases and deficiencies, but not to combat aging.
“Finding a `fountain of youth’ is a captivating story,” says the National Institute on Aging. “The truth is that, to date, no research has shown that hormone replacement drugs add years to life or prevent age-related frailty.”
Dr. Evan Hadley, director of the institute’s Division of Geriatrics, says hormone replacement drugs can have harmful side effects. He said there is a need for more research, such as an institute study of testosterone therapy, to identify the potential risks and benefits.
“There is indeed potential that people can be healthier in old age,” Hadley said. “But it still requires evidence about what’s going to help and what’s not.”
Hormone drugs can be expensive. HGH shots can cost more than $15,000 a year, according to the institute. A hormone-based dietary supplement known as DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), a precursor of estrogen and testosterone, is marketed online for $12.95 per capsule by Utah-based NutraScriptives.
Some proponents say over-the-counter DHEA supplements can improve energy and strength, boost immunity and decrease fat. The institute says there’s no conclusive scientific evidence of any such benefits.
Life says he’s a staunch advocate of exercise and healthy eating, but insists that hormone replacement therapy, under a doctor’s supervision, is a crucial addition for some men, and that includes him.
“There’s no way I could look and feel the way I do if all I had done the last 13 years was exercise and eat right,” he said. “Even if you do everything right, if you have a deficiency in testosterone, you will lose the fight.”
Life acknowledged that the cost of testosterone replacement, probably more than $5,000 year and not covered by insurance, could be daunting for some. But he contends the investment pays off in more vitality.
“It’s hard to put on price on good health,” he says.


Cosmetic Surgery:
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 13.1 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the U.S. in 2010, a 77 percent increase over a decade.
One notable trend is increased preference for less invasive procedures that enable patients to get back to work and social settings without a long leave of absence.
The most popular of these is treatment with the wrinkle-smoothing drugs Botox or Dysport. They account for 5.4 million procedures, averaging about $400 per treatment. Other popular noninvasive procedures include soft-tissue facial fillers, chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
More invasive procedures come at a higher price. Face-lifts can run from $6,000 to $15,000; the plastic surgeons’ academy reported performing 112,000 of them in 2010.
Dr. Peter Schmid, who runs a cosmetic surgery practice in Longmont, Colo., says his field is flourishing because of evolving attitudes among appearance-conscious boomers. A recent Associated poll found that 1 in 5 boomers either have had or would consider cosmetic surgery.
“Cosmetic surgery has become table talk at home. There’s a lot of satisfaction and acceptance from people who’ve had it, friend to friend, word of mouth,” Schmid said.
While the noninvasive procedures cost less than a face-lift, the effects won’t last as long and repeat treatments might be needed several times a year, Schmid said. He advised patients to calculate carefully which type of procedure makes the most sense for them financially.
Schmid, who is on the board of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, cautioned against any rush to try new procedures that get a burst of publicity.
“There’s a certain vulnerability because everybody’s looking for that quick fix, that fountain of youth,” he said. “Many people will shop emotionally instead of objectively, before something has been tried and tested.”
Some critics of the anti-aging industry are supportive of cosmetic surgery, provided the patient can comfortably afford it.
Professor Robert Binstock, an expert on aging at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine, told of a recently widowed friend whose spirits lifted after getting the bags under her eyes removed. “If you feel better looking in the mirror in the morning, fine,” he said. “I have no objection to people being narcissistic.”


Skin care:
One of the industry’s booming sectors is anti-aging skin care, featuring wrinkle creams and facial serums. By some estimates, the U.S. market for cosmeceutical products – cosmetics with medicine-based ingredients – is approaching $20 billion a year.
The FDA, which oversees cosmetic safety and labeling, doesn’t require manufacturers to prove the effectiveness of cosmetic products before they go on sale, and many ads make claims which critics say are exaggerated or unverifiable. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends consulting a dermatologist on what skin care products have been proved safe and effective in human studies.
Consumer Reports has ventured into the realm of anti-aging cosmetics several times recently, using high-tech optical devices and other scientific methods to assess the products.
Last year, the magazine tested nine face serums, available at drug stores for prices ranging from $20 to $65 and all claiming to reduce wrinkles.
“After six weeks of use, the effectiveness of even the best products was limited and varied from subject to subject,” according to the review. “When we did see wrinkle reductions, they were at best slight, and they fell short of the miracles that manufacturers seemed to imply on product labels.”
Earlier, the magazine tested wrinkle creams.
“Even the best performers reduced the average depth of wrinkles by less than 10 percent, a magnitude of change that was, alas, barely visible to the naked eye,” it said.
Its top-rated product, Olay Regenerist, cost about $19 at the time of the testing. La Prairie Cellular, the most expensive at $335, was rated among the least effective.
Similar conclusions were reached in testing 16 over-the-counter eye creams.
“Even among the best-performing products, wrinkle reduction around the eyes was generally pretty subtle,” the magazine said. “After six weeks of daily use, none came close to eliminating wrinkles.”
It said the most expensive, Perricone MD at $95 a jar, was no better than cheaper drugstore brands.
One recent development in anti-aging skin care is the use of stem cell technology. ReVive’s expensive Peau Magnifique is among the new products, claiming to “recruit adult stem cells into brand new stem cells.”
Neither Consumer Reports nor the FDA has conducted any specific assessment of Peau Magnifique’s effectiveness. On a Web site called, some customer reviews raved about it; others trashed it as a waste of money.


Linda Wiener: Careers in Aging – A Booming IndustryOn January 1, 2006, the first of America’s nearly 77 million baby boomers turned sixty. Since then and every other day for the next eighteen years nearly eight thousand members of this demographic cohort has or will celebrate this same rite of passage, and the whole world is watching to find out What’s Next?
By the year 2030 Americans age 55 and older will number107.6 million; 31 percent of the population. Those over 65 will account for 20 percent of the total population (U.S. Census Bureau and Civic Ventures). This aging of the population will be one of the major social and business issues of the 21st century (globally), and the U.S. has been preparing for it f or over 50 years.
Extensive research has been conducted, and there has been much conjecture about financial and social implications, mass retirements and the impact on health care systems of an escalating population of frail elderly. Recently however, it has become apparent that a whole new set of possible scenarios is emerging, for both older adults and society in general. Because Americans are not only living longer but also more healthfully, they are challenging the historical way many things have been looked at, including service delivery, social involvement and work.
By most accounts, careers in the field of aging are going to be among the next big things in the 21st Century workplace. A key factor in the expected job growth in the field of aging, besides the obvious demographic bulge, is the shift away from viewing employment solely from the illness, disease and research model. This is due in large part to a redefinition of gerontology itself.
Gerontology is the study of the process of aging, across the life span, whose multi-disciplinary aspects include physical, mental, and social changes in people as they age. The study of the resultant societal impact of an aging population and the application of this knowledge is included in this description. Using this inclusive definition, professionals from diverse fields are known as gerontologists. Geriatrics relates to the comprehensive healthcare of older adults, specifically including the study of illness and disease in later life, and as such is a branch of gerontology (Exploring Careers in Gerontology©).
Until lately, options for working with older adults were concentrated mostly throughout the health care services continuum. While demand will remain high in these areas, the good news is that almost limitless opportunity exists for the development and delivery of new products and services to our burgeoning aging population.
Workforce Trends and Projections
The number of jobs in gerontology-related fields will increase by more than 36 percent by 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rather than emphasizing illness and loss however, the trend among those that market to and serve older adults is to accentuate ways to help them stay productive and independent, ageing comfortably in the place of their choice.
Service-providing industries are expected to account for approximately 20.8 million of the 21.6 million new wage and salary jobs generated over the 2002-12 period. The education and health services industry supersector alone is projected to grow 31.8 percent, and add more jobs than any other sector. About 1 out of every 4 new jobs created in the U.S. economy will be in either the healthcare and social assistance or private educational services sectors (U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Targeted Industries
In addition to healthcare, general growth will be robust and employment opportunities for working with older adults will flourish in those industries related to business and financial services, fitness and wellness, consumer products (especially electronic and digital), housing (all sectors; new construction, adaptive remodeling to support aging in place , planned communities, etc.) and travel (including transportation and hospitality).
Research, and professional volunteer recruitment and management are also among those fields projected to experience unprecedented growth. Cutting-edge technological research, seeking to find ways to make life easier and safer for a continually expanding population of frail elderly is big business, globally. Current social research includes surveying public attitudes about aging and towards older citizens. Other studies explore ways to improve the image of aging in America.
Is has become apparent that to be motivated to engage in community service, boomers and retirees demand respect for their experience as well opportunity for quality assignments that utilize their skills and expertise. To capitalize on this rich potential, a wide range of major private and public sector organizations have begun professional redefinition of the roles of volunteer management leaders, spurring the establishment of certifiable standards and creating a new specialist category.
New Faces in Aging
As surely as the face of aging is changing, so also is the appearance of those attracted to employment in the field. People are drawn to working with seniors for a variety of reasons.
Many consciously seek employment in the field because of a lifelong affection for older adults, having grown up in multi-generational family units or around positive role models for aging.
Some end up serving an aging population because the type of work they choose appeals to a decidedly gray market and/or clientele. Those drawn for these reasons are new entrants to the workforce as well as career changers.
Still others choose vocational expression in the age group because of its exponential growth potential. These include social entrepreneurs and those seeking to enhance already established careers.
Unexpected Opportunities
Patti scrambled to re-career when she was outplaced; the regional pharmacy where she had worked for nine years closed. Her duties there had included a period of working directly with a senior population, and fond memories of those favorable experiences were fresh in her mind as she began the assessment part of her formal outplacement coaching,
What Patti uncovered was a theme of lifelong involvement and many close relationships with older adults. She decided to return to college to finish a degree begun years earlier, and chose gerontology as her field of study. Today she is a volunteer coordinator for a private faith-based CCRC (continuing care retirement community), a position that opened up to her after she interned in another department at the facility.
Patti’s next goal is to prepare for and take a national exam to become a certified volunteer administrator. Such expert designation will add professional stature to her skills to recruit, lead and integrate volunteers into any organization.
Objective Re-Careering
Seeking challenge and growth in their work lives, some career changers are pro-active and engage in methodical market research to find their best fit in emerging industries. David falls into this category. His goal in returning to school was to prepare for a career where his efforts would make a difference, and in which he would find enjoyment each day.
At stake for David in changing careers was giving up the relative security of nearly 15 years of governmental employment. His research included determining what impact becoming a private sector employee would have on his public employee retirement funds, and how to develop an exit strategy to maximize his pension options.
What caught David’s eye about studying gerontology was the prospect of conducting and engaging in activities, and planning group events. Experienced in coordinating early childhood activities, and successful in community event planning he thought, “Why not take those skills and see if I can make a difference for some elders?”
While continuing to work full time, over a two year period David managed to complete coursework for an Associates of Applied Science degree in gerontology. Less than six months later he left his long-term job in payroll and accounting and went to work as a care coordinator at an upscale skilled nursing facility.
David found the fulfillment in human involvement he had been seeking, and that his former skill set was not only translatable but also quite useful (like creating time saving forms using Excel). According to David his new job has a great mix to it, “Some social work, a variety of activities, and a little marketing.” Since the building was still undergoing major upgrading during his first few weeks he even got involved with helping to outfit the resident Spa.
Post-grad Specialization
Social Entrepreneurs, many already in their own carefully crafted right place seek to enhance their careers by targeting goods or services to the burgeoning aging marketplace. Amy had a Ph.D. and an MSW and had been working as a gerontological social worker for a number of years. Having studied aging as a distinct stage of life and worked with seniors and caregivers, she decided to refresh her academic understanding of aging prompted in large part by caring for her mother for nearly eight years.
Amy was drawn to research and ultimately pursue additional training and designation as a Certified Senior Advisor. What she found with the Society of Certified Senior Advisors™ was that more than the expected presentation of mind numbing fact sheets and earnings projections that the coursework embodied an inherent caring perspective about aging.
In addition to growing her own Caregivers’ Coach business, Amy became so passionate about the mission of the Society that she subsequently also became a trainer. With each new class she shares a favorite Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
With dual Masters Degrees, a community leader for more than 25 years, Judith took early retirement from the federal government and left the DC area to be near and care for family members in health crises.
After the death of her father Judith returned to school to gear up for a third age career, pursuing studies in gerontology and fitness technology. She chose the combination of the two programs as an expression of her commitment to staying fit and active and sharing with other seniors an enthusiasm and energy for living. She recently acquired instructor certification in water aerobics, and is pursuing personal fitness trainer certification.
Education and Certification
An interesting phenomenon has emerged coincidental to the increasing opportunities for employment in aging. Career changers, individuals re-entering the workforce and non-traditional student have outpaced the typical 18-22 year old learner in exploring ways to catch the so-called age wave.
Historically, academic gerontology studies have been based on the illness and disease model, or geriatric aging. Based on the increasing numbers of aged Americans demand will remain high for graduates with this type of education, and many colleges and universities will successfully continue with existing curriculums.
In recent years however, registration and enrollment have dropped off in some university gerontology programs. As a result, many academicians have found themselves scrambling to redefine both their curriculum and their student base.
Conversely, private sector professional certifications are becoming increasingly popular and gaining industry status and client confidence. Business and Aging Specialist. Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Certified Financial Planner. Certified Senior Advisor. Senior Real Estate Specialist. Certified Volunteer Administrator. The specializations continue to proliferate.
According to the academic journal Distance Learning Administration, when workers are shopping for education options, they should consider that “Certification is becoming more preferable to employers than a degree.”(New Mexico Business Weekly).
No longer a single profession, careers in aging offer the possibility of a specialist overlay to any profession serving our aging population.
For job seekers and career changers the challenges include choosing a good professional fit form a wide array of employment options. Often involved with these decisions is which, if any, of the niche market post-secondary certifications or traditional degrees to pursue.
For academic institutions (and other workforce development entities) the challenge is how to prepare students of gerontology for these new careers in aging. A growing number of colleges and universities have begun to offer specialized certifications in addition to Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees in the field.
Individuals from a myriad of life circumstances are becoming the new faces of gerontology. As a gerontology career expert, my advice to anyone considering a career in aging is to start with in-depth self assessment followed up with market research targeted to key areas of interest.
Taking a critical look at values, interests and skill preferences is a good way to maximize the potential for finding the best vocational fit. Market research is the next logical step to gain information specific to the details and employment outlook of unique gerontology career interests; necessary degrees or certification, working environment, job outlook, etc.
Whether beginning their work life, a career changer or a social entrepreneur, today’s professional that wants to zero in on their niche for working with older adults is likely to find a welcoming employer or customer.


Senior living industry sets its sights on aging boomersThe economy is slowly recovering, home values are rising again, and baby boomers are turning 65 at a rate of nearly 10,000 a day.
Leaders in the senior living industry hope these factors add up to more older Americans selling their homes and moving into assisted living communities over the next decade.
How to capture that business was the focus of Assisted Living Federation of America’s recent conference in Charlotte, N.C., which drew nearly 2,300 participants.…lcome-parties/


Competition shows off innovation in the aging-care industryHealth care startup companies from across the country will have a chance to put their products to the test at an aging-care innovation competition, called LINKtank, in Chicago next month.
The competition, which takes place at the LINK long-term care conference from July 22 to July 24, is being organized by the Louisville-based International Center for Long Term Care Innovation, or InnovateLTC. It’s the second year for the contest.
InnovateLTC is a business incubator program that invests in and advises aging-care startups. It is partnering with Norwalk, Conn.-based Lincoln Healthcare Events to present the competition.…vation-in.html


Startup VC Pitching Resources

Posted by Yoni Mekuria on Mar 22, 2013

Through both the Founder Showcase and the Founder Institute we come across a lot of great stuff, but below are what we consider to be the best of the best on the subject of pitching to VCs. We consider each of these resources absolute must-reads for any technology entrepreneur who is raising funds.

The 13th Founder Showcase is coming up on March 27th in Mountain View, CA. In addition to the always-entertaining Pitch Competition, there will also be talks by Chris Dixon (Andreessen Horowitz) and Keith Rabois (Khosla Ventures). 

Get your tickets today before they sell out at

So, in no specific order..

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This entry was posted on August 4, 2013 by in Money Matters.

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