Mirthy has been named as one of ten finalists for Nesta Challenges Tech to Connect competition.
The competition seeks new ways to use technology to reduce social isolation and loneliness in England.
There were 130 applications from charities and social enterprises across the country, from which the final ten were chosen.
Each of these finalists will receive guided support and a £25,000 grant from Nestle Challenges for the next five months as they develop their ideas into working prototypes and development plans.
The team at Mirthy is building a platform to enable older adults to stay active, independent, and improve their ability to interact with others.
The company will connect under-utilised communal space in retirement housing developments with those looking for social interactions in the wider community.
In February 2020, the judging panel will assess the finalists’ progress and from this select the winner and runners-up, which will be revealed at a final showcase event in March 2020.
The winner will receive a £100,000 cash prize, and the two runners up will each receive £75,000.
Alex Ramamurthy, founder and CEO at Mirthy, said: “As part of an Age UK befriending scheme I witnessed the effects that loneliness can have on those in later life.
“We’re developing the Mirthy platform to ensure no older person has to feel lonely. Our idea is to connect older adults looking for social interactions in the wider community with residents and homeowners within retirement developments, taking advantage of under-utilised communal spaces.
“We’re passionate that all individuals in later life should be able to remain active, independent at home, and connected in their local community, and we’re helping to remove the barriers that can be created due to ageing.”
Tris Dyson, executive director of Nesta Challenges, said: “Social isolation affects people of all backgrounds, age and locations.
“We were looking to reflect this in the applications we received and the finalists chosen. Tech can offer powerful ways to bring people together, and we are excited to start working with these innovators to develop their concepts.
“By supporting and scaling these ideas, we can ultimately work together to help reduce social isolation.”