For the first multi-country Seed project at Polymath, one of our teams looked not at a market, but a demographic: 45-65 year olds. Our team — 2 designers, 2 business people and a psychologist — observed this growing age group in Mexico and Colombia as they moved through this life stage. The team surfaced rich insights and highlighted key areas for opportunity that they built business concepts. Through testing, two ideas showed strong potential, family-friendly restaurants, and investing for later life through property ownership.

The Journey

From conversations to ideas to MVP

Understanding a life phase

For every person the exact year is different, but the middle 40’s begin an interesting transition in life. Key pillars of being and familiarity shift including family, health and work. Many move into a central role within their families as children, grandchildren and parents’ care become their ultimate responsibility. Health issues arise and salaries peak as they look towards retirement and later-life planning.

Richer experiences, Plans for the future

At this life phase, friendships and marriages can slip from loving relationships to functional acquaintance over time. Our interview participants found it important to make space for friends and family, and for many this was around the dinner table. Mature Adults are also thinking about retirement, few had pensions, but many had invested in small real estate projects, like renting a floor of their home or buying property.

Opportunities and Iterations

The team iterated numerous concepts designed to enrich the lives and well being of 45-65 year olds. Based on observations that this age group were providing care for their aging parents, many prototypes for on-demand elder care and nursing home innovations were tested, but users were more interested in spending quality time with their parents and family, and preparing for their own futures.

The ventures today

In Seed the path from insight to venture is never a direct one. The concept for Mesa, a delicious family restaurant with a focus on sandwiches, actually began as a lifestyle-focused meet-up program for 45-65 year olds. We launched the venture in 2016 and have been feeding hungry families ever since. Raíces is a real estate platform for smoother and more transparent real estate transactions, to be launched in Mexico on 2017.

The Team

Mature Adulthood 2015

Kevin McElroy
Advisor @ Polymath

Luisa Ruge
Lead Business Designer @ Polymath

Rosanne Koning
Lead Business Designer @ Polymath

Kevin Weiss

Elizabeth Kimball