GetSetUp, an online platform where older folks can learn, connect and share education paradigm
Success is something that contributes to the betterment of the world: Deval Delivala, Co-founder & Senior Vice President
GetSetUp was established in February 2020 to provide economic, social and educational opportunities for older adults. GetSetUp is a community platform where older folks can learn, connect and share about a variety of topics through a live and interactive peer-to-peer education paradigm. It’s an online platform where senior citizens could instruct older adult on the programmes and services they could use to have happier, healthier and more connected lives. Everybody learns in a unique way, especially as you get older. GetSetUp aims to provide learning opportunities that cater to the needs of older persons, many of whom are connected with getting over a phobia of learning new technological skills.
Tell us about the thought behind the GetSetUp?
Senior citizens have knowledge, time and wisdom to share with the world. They can be the true ‘creators’ of the digital economy, which is based on content and experiences. We believe that if we help them get comfortable with technology and provide them with the tools to share their skills, it can unlock a lot of human potential and value. In the next 10 years, senior citizens are projected to be 20% of the global population. Yet, most businesses fail to recognize the uniqueness of this large and important demographic. For example, in India alone, the older population is projected to cross 160 million by 2025 and surpass the number of kids under 14 by 2050.
How has been the journey of GetSetUp so far; what changes have you adopted to be more convenient with clients?
Our senior-specific course catalogue has over 4,000 different sessions on popular topics such as health and wellness, technology, jobs and finance, enrichment, and so much more that are available through classes, community-led sessions, guest speakers, and other services. The platform went from 0 to over 4.6 million learners globally in two years, showing that older adults are establishing their own domain in the virtual space, which became even more necessary with the global pandemic.
Our technology has been specially designed to create an easy and frictionless usage process for older adults. We offer orientations to walk new learners through the site. We also offer classes at a basic to advanced level on a variety of topics. Older adults choose the class that best meets their needs. Each class is bite-size, one hour (or less), so nothing is overwhelming. Learners have a chance to ask questions live in the group and get explanations then and there. They can then request recordings of the class to go back and practice skills they have learned. Many learners take the same class multiple times until they have mastered the class skills and they feel confident to move on to their next topic of interest or a more advanced class.
GetSetUp is becoming more flexible as our lives become more flexible, and it is a company that is growing and adjusting with the times as the ageing experience grows and changes.
What is the one thing that connects you the most with GetSetUp?
New tools have opened up a world of possibilities for anyone to be an entrepreneur or a creator – and older adults should not be left behind! We want to empower them! By teaching them classes on Shopify, Canva and digital marketing, we bring them into the creator economy. Once they learn some of the newer tech tools available to them, they can express themselves better and continue engaging with their communities. It’s about empowerment and relevance. In fact, with tech on their side, it is the younger generations that would benefit from their collective wisdom. As an entrepreneur myself, I’m passionate about helping other people share their knowledge and wisdom; this is one of the aspects of GetSetUp that most resonates with me.
Co-founders – Neil D’Souza, Lawrence Kosick
What challenges did you face during this journey, and what kept you going?
The biggest challenge we have faced is finding the right partners. There is a lot of talk about the need to help older adults, but it seems that few organizations are actively doing something to make that happen, especially in India. We work really hard to find partners who are as committed as we are to improving the lives of older adults. When the synergies are right, we do amazing things, from creating great class series to offering resources to a much-needed population. Impactful support from both the government and the private sector will be essential if we want to create a positive impact and change the lives of India’s older adults to help them stay active, have more independence, and age healthily.
According to you, what is success and how should one cope with failure?
For me, success is making something that brings about a positive change in the world. One person may write to us and describe how GetSetUp has improved their life, or a user’s children may send us a letter outlining how GetSetUp has improved their parents’ lives. Being able to benefit our ecosystem of partners and have a daily influence on millions of lives is success on a business level.
As an entrepreneur, you have to treat successes and failures equally. You can’t sit on your success and be content. Similarly, you can’t get stuck in the loop of failure – you must find a way out and continue moving forward. Learn from it, work on the problem, and build.
As an entrepreneur, what has been your most significant failures, and what did you learn from them?
As mentioned earlier, I treat successes and failures equally as an entrepreneur. In the early stages of a startup, you are constantly trying new things; some experiments work and most probably fail. So not all meetings convert into an instant ‘Yes’. The key is to keep trying, keep iterating and find a way. You may have the strongest feeling about something or some product feature, but the real test lies in customers adopting it. So instead of trying to start with a firm conviction, I’ve learnt to start with a hypothesis, test it out to get a quick signal on whether it works, and then learn from there.
One affirmation that inspires you?
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lau Tzu. We believe the work we are doing at GetSetUp is essential to the well-being of older adults; as such, I’m inspired daily to know each time we are one step closer to a larger and more significant impact.
Where do you envision GetSetUp in five years?
We are the largest virtual community for seniors globally; we want to offer more languages worldwide and be the best place for this community to discover, engage, and create. We also want our community to know that life doesn’t stop at 60. You can come and live your best life on GetSetUp. We completed the first-ever Startup Accelerator Program for older adult entrepreneurs wherein two winners from India won $2500 each for their businesses, along with others from the USA. We would like to do more such programs to help our community in the future.
GetSetUp was founded to serve an underserved market of older adults by:
- Providing economic opportunities for older workers who are often overlooked or face ageism in hiring processes.
- Providing digital training and adoption for older adults.
- Creating a community for older adults who may face social isolation or mobility issues.
- Providing a safe, fun, live, and interactive way for older adults to interact with their peers.
- Providing learning opportunities for older adults to help prevent cognitive decline and allow them to pursue new dreams
- Providing a place for older adults to teach and share their skills with peers.