GeriJoyFounder: Victor Wang, age 25
Launched: December, 2012
Mission: Wang grew up in Canada, while his grandmother lived alone in Taiwan. She was so lonely and dispirited she actually talked about suicide – so his mother moved to be with her for a year, Wang said. After he finished his masters at MIT, researching human-machine interaction in telerobotics, he found a solution. GeriJoy provides round-the-clock human companions for elder care in the form of virtual tablet-based “pets” that allow for compassionate conversation between two people. The companion keeps an online diary of its interaction with the older person that can be shared with caregivers.
Revenue stream: The standard plan includes 1,000 minutes of direct conversational support and costs $99 a month.