We create new companies to enrich the lives of adults 65 and older.

Alive Ventures partners with great entrepreneurs to develop products and services that help our relationships grow stronger, more joyful, and better with age.

Exclusively serving an audience of 55 million older Americans, Alive Ventures brings together design talent, seasoned entrepreneurial talent and older adults themselves to co-design and launch beautifully designed products that older adults love to use and share. By marrying the wisdom and lived experiences of older adults with deep consumer insights, proven customer acquisition strategies and valuable early stage resources, Alive Ventures helps de-risk the traditional startup process.

We’re a team united around a mission to design a future we all want to age into.

Our empathy, skillful creation, generosity, desire to learn and sense of fun are keys to our team's success.


Eric Thai


Director of Finance

Eric Thai is the finance director of Alive Ventures. He was inspired to join Alive Ventures by its unique goal to create beautifully designed products and services that enrich later life. He sees an opportunity to truly design with older adults for an exciting stage in life, rather than design for someone else’s idea of a frail aging experience.

Eric is also the director of finance and mission impact investments for The SCAN Foundation. He is responsible for managing the Foundation’s investment portfolio and accounting functions. He leads the Mission Impact Investment program, which utilizes investments to further the Foundation’s mission to help older adults age with dignity and independence.

Eric comes alive from exploring. He enjoys learning from others, mountain biking new trails, building legos with his kids, and traveling with his family in his self-built camper van.


John Zapolski



John Zapolski is the founder and CEO of Alive Ventures. After traveling across the country listening to groups of regular, middle class older adults talk about their lives and the types of products and experiences they wish existed, John realized that designers and entrepreneurs typically got it wrong. He created Alive Ventures to bring focus, creative energy, and new investment to the aspects of life worth looking forward to as we age.

As a serial social entrepreneur, John has long worked at the intersection of new ventures, philanthropy, design, and culture. He previously co-founded and led several new social purpose ventures, including Fonderie 47 and STEAM Carnival.

John comes alive from teaching. In the past, he’s done that in both MBA and MFA programs, and as a leadership coach and consultant to global entrepreneurs, executives, and artists. He aspires to become a better photographer, and is inspired by the work of his fiancée, a filmmaker, with whom he lives in Los Angeles and Lake Arrowhead, CA.


Jon King


Design Advisor

Jon approaches design as a process to seek clarity and substance in the human experience. For close to 30 years, design has served Jon and the teams he has been associated with as a way to observe and understand lives in a deeper more rewarding sense. Jon brings to his work at Alive, the belief that the use of design thinking helps to understand and analyze how we interact with each other and our world. It helps us understand how we interact with the environments and artifacts we have chosen to surround us.

"The act of designing, in essence, is problem-solving. It’s a process that no matter how loosely or strictly applied can reveal unforeseen outcomes. If applied properly, it will embellish and help determine the outcome of the situation. I see design as a way of life that provides a means to a more sincere, truthful existence.”


Ka Wai Ho


Venture Partner

Ka Wai is a Venture Partner at Alive Ventures where he guides the efforts of the studio and the entrepreneurs that it works with to create scalable and impactful ventures. He has extensive international experience in finance, strategy and business development.

Ka Wai started his career in strategy consulting where he helped multinational organizations in Europe and Asia on growing both their bottom line and market share. He gained experience working in South America when he became a founding member of a social venture fund in Peru. Within media, he has assisted in the financing of numerous film and TV projects and oversaw the business side of the original content studio for the digital streaming platform of a major studio.

Most recently, he has been an advisor to various tech and media companies on issues such as fundraising strategies, financial projections, company valuations, growth plans, product strategies, as well as structuring and securing financing and distribution for film and TV projects.

Ka Wai is most alive when his heart is beating(!) by being active, in awe, and inspired.


Katie Kuhn


Head of Brand Strategy

Katie Kuhn leads brand strategy at Alive Ventures. She is driven by a passion for flipping the cultural paradigm on aging, and building brands and products that enable older adults to live out their best lives possible. She is continually inspired by the older adults in her life.

Over her career, Katie has journeyed across the globe to uncover consumer mindsets, values, and motivations in order to concept, reposition and evolve brands to further their impact on our constantly changing world. Her background in qualitative research cultivated her love of viewing the world through the lens of the consumer to craft customer-centric brands. She has collaborated with global teams at Mastercard, Oprah Winfrey, Discovery Networks, Condé Nast, and Starbucks to name a few.

Katie feels most alive when she is sparking joy for and with others. From bringing together friends and family for a good meal, motivating teammates, being silly with her nieces and nephew, and adventuring the trails in the SF Bay Area where she lives.


Lauren Miranda


Head of Community

Lauren Miranda is the Head of Community at Alive Ventures. As a passionate advocate for community building as fundamental to social impact, Lauren is eager to connect with older adults. She believes that by listening, learning, and designing alongside older adults we can create products and services that not only meet their needs but feed their desires.

With a background in anthropology, education, and community engagement, Lauren is a lifelong learner with a particular interest in humans. She is energized by people and their cultures, languages, stories, and aspirations which has influenced her work in international education, human centered design, user research, and leadership development.

Lauren’s constant thirst for adventure makes her feel most alive. She loves to explore the outdoors and experience new things, constantly dabbling in new and creative projects.


Molly Waseka


Director of Venture Development

Molly Waseka is the Director of Venture Development at Alive Ventures, leading the studio to design and develop new business concepts for a more joyful later age. She is passionate about Alive’s unique mission, leveraging innovation and investment as a tool for positive social change for older adults.

Prior to joining Alive Ventures, Molly has led program, strategy and development for companies across industries and with clients spanning retail, interior design, art, fashion, and live events.

Molly feels most alive when selling things she’s helped create and is always looking for ways to turn her art projects into small business concepts.


Park Cofield


Program Manager

Park Cofield is the program manager at Alive Ventures, designing and executing initiatives to support business operations and new product concepts being developed within the studio. He is inspired daily by the studio’s commitment to joy and is passionate about the process of collaborative design. Relationship building and empathy are his superpowers.

Park has years of experience building and launching new programs from the ground up and a master’s degree in social entrepreneurship. With a background in theater and community building, Park has executed large scale international projects, intergenerational creative aging programs, as well as business competitions for social impact startups.

Park feels most alive when he is surrounded by big thinkers and change makers. He loves odd-yet true history and rarely misses a chance to explore new places in Los Angeles where he lives.


Stephen Joyce


Design Researcher

Stephen Joyce is the design researcher at Alive Ventures, facilitating co-design workshops with our older adult community to identify insights and opportunities to aid in Alive Venture’s mission. He is passionate about racial justice and creating equitable and ethical products. He is collaborative by nature and believes strongly in active and deep listening.

Stephen brings experience in co-designing community-centered organizations. In addition to his design work, he is a fine art photographer and has had his work exhibited throughout the United States including Aperture (New York) and Silver Eye Center for Photography (Pittsburgh).

Stephen feels most alive when he can go on a long hike with his German Shorthaired Pointer, in upstate New York, where he lives. He loves to explore new places and try inventive and challenging recipes at home.