Impact Hub facilitates scaling of an innovative Internet of Things social enterprise with AXA, the world’s largest insurer, to bring about a step change in elder care.


In March Impact Hub and AXA, the world’s largest insurer, kicked off the Prevention with Impact Accelerator. The goal was to empower people to live better lives through efforts to prevent health and safety risks. The selected winning venture was set to gain tailored support from both Impact Hub and AXA, plus 50,000 Euros to help them to scale their work and bring positive change globally.

 Winning venture, Alcove, which is set to revolutionise elder care and keep people in their homes safely for longer, was selected from over 250 applications identified by Impact Hub. AXA’s employee community chose the finalist, and half of the votes went to Alcove, reflecting the recognition of the real need to address issues facing the aging population globally.

In the words of Hellen Bowey, CEO and co-founder of Alcove, “we use the Internet of Things to keep old and disabled people safe.” This is done through connecting technology such as wearables, video calling and smart home automation, with clever software that alerts family members or care providers when there is a problem. “Within three months of starting operations, we believe we saved a life,” Hellen describes.

The software is easy to use and designed for older adults, disabled adults, families and care providers alike. Alcove offers personalised packages of assistive technology for anyone who prefers to stay in their own home and live independently, but needs extra support from family and friends.

Alice Steenland, AXA’s Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, expressed excitement about the potential of the solution Alcove provides and also the “excellent fit with the AXA Group's ‘Better Lives’ strategy, the aim of which is to offer […] customers services that have a measurable positive impact on their health and safety."

The enthusiasm was shared by the Alcove team. Hellen is looking to leverage the “reach and distribution of AXA [...] to build new, relevant products for an ageing and fragmenting population [globally]."

Impact Hub King’s Cross first designed and delivered an intensive week-long personalised acceleration programme and is now providing three months of ongoing support. The accelerator included in-depth market research, financial forecasting and developing a new business model that would allow Alcove’s solution to reach families across the world through its partnership with AXA.

AXA global graduate, Arthur Jeannin, was also central to the success of the programme, bringing insight into what AXA would be looking for in a partnership and what international opportunities might be available for Alcove.

Arthur shared his enthusiasm for working with Alcove as “it is a great opportunity to work with an innovative startup on an international and operational project”. " With AXA constantly investing in “innovation, both internally and through external partnerships with cutting edge start-ups like Alcove,” Arthur feels he is “part of something that has the potential to make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of customers.”

At the end of the week, Alcove and Arthur pitched to senior executives from the AXA Group, including the Global Head of P&C Retail and Global COO of Health. Feedback from the pitch is now informing the further development of Alcove and AXA’s partnership strategy supported by Impact Hub, which is sure to mean that thousands more elderly and disabled people all over the world can continue to stay in their own homes, leading healthy, independent lives.


Impact Hub partners, accelerator, Partners

Damjan Raic - Strategy Operations Lead

Damjan Raic - Strategy Operations Lead

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