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What Is the Future of the Field: Q&A With Mary Furlong

Stria Staff July 23, 2018
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Stria spoke with four industry leaders to hear more about their outlook. We asked expert business consultant Mary Furlong what makes her feel optimistic and what worries her most.

Mary Furlong, Ed. D., CEO, Mary Furlong & Associates. Mary is a leading authority on the longevity marketplace. She has guided the business development and marketing strategies of leading corporations, emerging companies, and nonprofit organizations for more than 30 years. Mary founded MFA in 2003 to help socially- and consumer-conscious companies understand the real needs of this growing market. Mary is the author of Turning Silver into Gold: How to Profit in the New Boomer Marketplace.

I think it’s an exciting market. It’s the third largest market in terms of market opportunity—it’s in the early innings. We just had the Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit, and you could see that there were a lot of new players: about 60 percent of the audience was new.

While there haven’t been a lot of companies that have grown to $200-300m mark, I think there’s an opportunity to grow over time—especially for companies focused on caregiving and disease management. Those areas are going to grow.

There is a lot of activity in the under-a-million service space. People need lifestyle companies that help seniors get the services they need. For example, Ziegler Link-Age puts beauty shops in senior housing. Other great examples are Embodied Labs and Balance Wear.

I’m optimistic about the future of the longevity market because a lot of these new companies are getting funded and getting traction with customers. There are also a lot of lessons learned on how to go to market and scale a business.

It’s exciting. All of these different forces are coming together with technology, and the intellectual power is stronger than it’s ever been. Companies large and small are pivotal to the market. Every dissonance of aging is a marketing opportunity.

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