Few places have seen more hardship throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns than aged-care facilities. Youngster. co is doing everything it can to wring something positive out of the situation, both for elders and teenagers. The startup pairs youngsters with older people to swap technological know-how and life lessons. When lockdowns forced Yougnster.co to move its operations from in-person interactions to digital-only, co-founders and father-son duo Tony and Finn Rothacker saw it as an opportunity to scale the business nationally.
“COVID-19 actually gave us the platform to be virtual-only,” Tony Rothacker told VENTURE. “We found that it’s actually scalable that way and much faster than a face-to-face service.”
What began as a small test run of 10 teenagers visiting a regional aged-care facility could prove to be one of the success stories coming out of the COVID-19 era.
It began with open innovation. A regional local health district solicited help in solving the problem of youth suicide in regional Australia.
“One of the big challenges is that young people don’t have a vision for the future, especially in regional Australia,” Tony said. “I think it’s really relevant now with COVID-19, people are really unsure what’s going to happen in the future. Losing a job and being unemployed is one of the big contributing factors.”
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE