Ted is rather cherubic looking, if one can be 80 and cherubic at the same time. Round faced. Smiling. Enthusiastic.
He had seen me on TV, speaking, as I often do, about how we’re living longer, and what that means for the time we didn’t expect to have. We need to figure out a way to stay healthy, work if we want to, fill the hours with purpose and meaning—and somehow manage to fund those extra years.
Ted got in touch, asking for an appointment. I gave him a little over an hour. Here is what I found out:
Ted (not his real name) is an active octogenarian. He’s a mechanical/engineering genius and worked for universities and major manufacturers. Because of two divorces and some poor investments, he is reduced to living on Social Security.
He invented an environmental purification device and owns the patents. Prototypes have been purchased and are being used appreciatively by homeowners and industry alike.
Like many engineers, Ted can talk enthusiastically about the mechanics of his invention, but he’s much less articulate about what he is really selling: cost savings and better health.
What he doesn’t have: 1) pockets deep enough to finance a startup, 2) the money for advertising, and 3) The CEO-style business expertise to turn this product into a successful long-term venture. He needs capital and a business-savvy partner.
I think Ted is the face of the future. Active and sharp at 80, creative and ambitious, talented and experienced—but lacking the network that’s necessary to pull off his dream.
I am, of course, going to see what I can do to help Ted.
Is there anyone out there who would make a good investor and partner for Ted? If so, please step up and identify yourself.