Interview with the Winner of the 2018 AGHE Global Business of Aging Pitch Competition

Aging2.0 strives to support innovators around the world, as they work to create meaningful innovations and a better tomorrow for us all.

Recently, Aging2.0 had the honor of showing our support for the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Global Business of Aging Pitch Competition. This year they hosted their inaugural Aging Pitch Competition. As the image to the right explains, the purpose of the pitch competition was to invite gerontology students to pitch their ideas for the next innovative product, service, or technology for the global 50+ market. 

The winner of this competition received an award from AGHE, plus a Complimentary Ticket to Aging2.0’s OPTIMIZE conference and the chance to be featured on the Aging2.0 blog - by way of an interview with Brittany Weinberg, Director of Community Engagement at Aging2.0. So, without further ado, please meet the winner of this exciting award and enjoy our recent interview with her:

1. Congrats on winning the pitch competition! Please introduce yourself and help us understand how you become interested in the aging field.

Thank you! My name is Nicolette and I’m a senior Healthcare Management major. During my freshman year, I decided to take an intro to aging class to learn more about the field of gerontology. I’m very close to my grandparents and have always gravitated toward older adults, I really enjoy engaging with seniors and being able to learn from them. I was also very interested in learning how I could support my older family members and increase their longevity. Unfortunately, I did not have the time in my schedule to add aging studies as an additional minor to my already business administration minor, but I still try and take as many courses in aging as my schedule will allow. After graduation, I will continue my education and pursue an MBA here at Ithaca College. I hope to be able to apply my knowledge in health care and aging to the evolving world of business.

2. How did you find out about the AGHE Global Business of Aging Pitch Competition and what made you interested in applying to pitch?

I first heard about the competition from one of my professors, Elizabeth Bergman. I decided to enter this competition for the experience itself. I was interested in gaining more exposure to public speaking and spreading awareness of a common problem many older adults face.  

3. What motivated you to participate and what was the pitching experience like? 

The motivation behind my pitch stemmed from both my passion for my product idea and my drive to enhance my public speaking skills. The pitch was a “virtual pitch” through Google Hangouts, so I did not have to travel to the conference in Atlanta to pitch. I had never used Google Hangouts before, but it was basically the same as being there in the room. I had a clear view of the audience and delivered my pitch with as much passion and excitement as I could!

4. Can you describe your business concept that won the AGHE pitch competition?

I’m working on developing a product that assists individuals of all ages to live a better quality of life. My product allows individuals to open medication containers without exerting any force of their own. My unique product will allow for older adults to have a safer and easier experience when it comes to opening their prescriptions.

5. Would you recommend that students apply for aging and business pitch competitions?

Yes! I never imagined myself doing anything like this but I am so glad that I did, and I encourage anyone who may have an idea to go for it. This experience allowed me to become more comfortable speaking publicly and has opened the door for so many business opportunities. You truly never know until you try!

6. What tips would you have for students who are interested in getting involved in the aging?

I would suggest starting off by taking a gerontology course to begin understanding why the study of aging is so important and so relevant. I also suggest taking these courses with an open mind because there is so much to learn and so many different ways to apply knowledge of gerontology to everyday life. The older population is rapidly increasing and we need more people that understand the aging process and all that comes along with it!

We look forward to seeing Nicolette at OPTIMIZE!

Want to learn more about Nicolette’s idea? Reach out to her at

Want to learn more about the AGHE Global Business of Aging Pitch Competition? Visit or email Dr. Janice Wassel at