New startup program by HAX and Centrica offers startups $250,000 to help improve the quality of life for the over 65s

HAX, the leading Silicon Valley and Shenzhen-based hardware accelerator is partnering with smart home provider Centrica Hive to support startups who are creating solutions for both carers and seniors who wish to live independently at home for longer. This initiative will further enhance an award-winning new smart home service, called Hive Link, which was launched by Centrica in December 2018.

 “The population of those aged 65 and older in the US is projected to reach 78 million by 2035 (versus 47.8 million today) with more people living alone *. As those people get older, we know that their first choice is typically to stay in their own homes but that can bring challenges: physical decline, falls, sensory or memory loss, poor nutrition and more ** ***. Technology can help us do better, for our loved ones and for our future selves” says Sam Salisbury, Centrica Innovations.

“HAX has invested in over 200 high-tech startups over the past 6 years, and we were looking for the right partner to tackle this immense challenge. We want to find the right sensors, service robots, or diagnostic devices that can help us age gracefully, and avoid $100 problems turning into $100,000 ones,” says Kate Whitcomb, Partner, HAX.

Applicants will be co-selected by HAX and a team from Centrica and focus on smart home technologies, smart security systems, non-invasive motion tracking technologies, sleep monitoring solutions, at-home health tracking systems and more.

HAX will invest $250,000 in selected startups who will receive mentoring, education, networking opportunities and office space for up to one year in exchange for equity. The mentorship part will include product development, business development and commercialization from Centrica experts.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “The Centrica Hive Ltd and HAX accelerator will provide a fantastic environment for UK and US businesses to work collaboratively on next generation smart home devices to support the growing ageing population. The partnership highlights the UK’s position as a leader in the global connected care market and the expertise British businesses can offer across the globe.
“Thanks to overseas partnerships like this, the UK will remain at the forefront of designing the future of smart home technology to meet the diverse needs of an ageing society.”

This partnership presents a world-class opportunity for startups looking to launch the next wave of smart home solutions aimed at serving the ageing-at-home and caregiver market, and improve the quality of life of seniors.

Applications are now open to startups worldwide. Applicants are required to have developed a proof-of concept prototype and be ready to relocate to Shenzhen and San Francisco during the program.

Startups may use this link to apply to the program:

*    Older People Projected to Outnumber Children for First Time in U.S. History (March 2018)
**    Ageing in Place: Growing Old at Home (NIH)
***    Independent Living is the Top Choice for Seniors Today (


HAX is a venture capital-based program dedicated to accelerating industry, enterprise, health and consumer startups with a hardware element. It operates across two strategic locations, San Francisco and Shenzhen, and was featured in the hit documentary by WIRED “Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley for Hardware” (3 million YouTube views).

Notable investments from HAX include ‘rising unicorns’, Makeblock, Yeelink, Particle and Nura. HAX startups have raised funding from top-tier investors such as Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures.

HAX is part of SOSV (, the world’s third most active early-stage fund, investing in 150 deep-tech startups per year. With over $500M in AUM, SOSV operates world-class ecosystem-focused programs including HAX (hardware), IndieBio and RebelBio (life sciences), Chinaccelerator and MOX (Mobile and web for Asia) and FOOD-X (food).

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