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DMACC and AARP announce new innovation concept challenge

Finalists will be announced at DMACC March 2

Des Moines Area Community College and AARP have created a Disrupt Aging Innovation Concept Challenge in connection with Celebrate Innovation. Week 8. Contestants are encouraged to submit an idea for a product, service or tool that will positively impact the lives of those age 50 and over for a chance to win $1,000 and attend a DMACC course for free.

CiWeek 8 is Feb. 27 through March 3 at the DMACC West Des Moines Campus; because of sponsors, like AARP, the event is free and open to the public. CiWeek 8 presenters include a 17-time Oscar nominee, a best-selling author, two Apollo astronauts, a World Beatbox Champion, an Olympian and more. For a complete list of speakers go to

The Disrupt Aging Innovation Concept Challenge hopes to inspire contestants to think of ways to improve the quality of life for those aged 50 and over. Disrupt Aging is an initiative aimed at challenging perceptions of what it means to age and confront ageism.

“AARP is looking for real possibilities to make life better as we age. This challenge is designed to encourage community members to think differently. We are excited to see who will rise to the challenge and what innovative concepts they will suggest to increase social engagement for all generations,” Iowa AARP State Director Kent Sovern said.

Those 14 and oler can submit an idea by going to and click the “Enter Contest” tab. There contests will answer seven questions about their concept.

AARP Director of Market Innovation Jeffrey Makowka, will announce the finalists March 2 during his CiWeek 8 keynote address.

Those finalists will be paired with mentors from SCORE, a nonprofit organization that helps start-up businesses owners achieve their goals. They will prepare a 10-minute “Shark Tank-style” pitch to be presented March 16 at Edgewater, a WesleyLife senior living community.

Prizes for the Disrupt Aging Business Concept Challenge:

• First Prize, $1,000 plus a scholarship for any DMACC course

• Second Prize, $500

• Third Prize, $250

First and second prizes are donated by Edgewater. Third prize is donated by Aging Resources of Central Iowa.

Application deadline is Feb. 24.

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