Social App Hank Offers In-Person Meet-Ups for Adults Ages 55+
Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apples and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.
In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across 11 major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. You can check out last quarter’s NYC round-up here.
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In the digital age, most consumers have adapted to having unlimited access to opportunities through mobile apps. Need a date? Swipe right on platforms like Tinder. Looking for friends in a new town? Visit platonic-centered apps like Yubo.
These mobile-first applications offer a land of opportunity for consumers to find love, friendship and more. But, to Brian Park, CEO and co-founder of Hank, platforms in this space have often overlooked a growing demographic that is also seeking connection.
NYC-based Hank is a platform for users ages 55 and up. On the platform, users can connect with each other and arrange plans that allow them to stay active and socialize. According to Park, users can do everything from scheduling casual coffee chats to finding new friends to go skydiving with.
“There’s a common misconception in the tech industry that older generations don’t understand or want new technology, so nobody designs solutions with 55+ people in mind,” Park told Built In via email. “But that’s a real misconception because, in reality, those are the same people who bought the first iPhones.”
“There’s a common misconception in the tech industry that older generations don’t understand or want new technology. ... But that’s a real misconception.”
Park’s idea to build Hank came about after witnessing his parents age and become empty nesters. As Park and his brother began their adult lives, he realized how hard it was for his parents to find social activities.
“[My parents] were frustrated by the sheer amount of time it took to find things to do, disappointed by the media’s outdated representation of older adult life and unsure how to translate digital connections on traditional social media platforms into real-life experiences,” Park said. “They eventually found social outlets through church and alumni organizations, but the process was piecemeal and even those groups didn’t feel like quite enough for them.”
It was then that Park decided to build the solution that his parents needed. Hank officially launched this May, and by late June, the startup had raised $7 million in a seed funding round co-led by General Catalyst and Resolute Ventures.
Since then, Park said the capital has been used to hire and “build out a truly world-class team.” The company plans to use its recent funding to scale its reach beyond New York City and be available in all 50 states in the near future.