GetSetUp is helping over 4 million seniors in 160 countries stay mentally and physically fit and engaged, also providing economic opportunities with 500+ classes every week on a variety of topics.
GetSetUp is one of the world’s largest virtual communities for seniors with over 4 million monthly members. Founded in February 2020 by Neil D’souza, Lawrence Kosick, and Deval Delivala, GetSetUp offers live virtual education to older adults on a variety of topics like wellness & wellbeing, health, travel, digital skills, art & craft, music, and dancing.
Abhishansa Mathur was in a get-set conversation with Deval Delivala, co-founder of GetSetUp and a seasoned technology executive who left her role at Uber to start this unique platform about her journey, challenges, and more.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am leading international growth for GetSetUp and helping to expand to new markets such as India, Australia, and beyond. As I was passionate about startups, I started working with a small one initially, which led me later to work for Uber when it was just getting started. I joined Uber when they had only launched in San Francisco and New York at the time.
Also, I have led many teams on supply growth, expansion, and safety at Uber for over eight years before taking a break and looking for my next passion. During my time off, I reconnected with Neil D’souza via a non-profit we both worked in India. He started telling me about his work to empower older adults through a vibrant learning community at GetSetUp, and I was immediately intrigued. I initially joined as an angel investor but came on as a third co-founder to lead global expansion a short time later.
2. Where did it all begin for you? Please share the What, When, & How of starting your brand? What’s in the name?
We founded GetSetUp in February 2020. We set out to build an online platform where older adults would train their peers on software and services that they could use to lead happier, healthier, and more connected lives. This older demographic will be 20% of the global population in the next ten years. Yet, almost every business they studied was failing to recognize the uniqueness of this large and influential demographic. Everyone learns differently, especially as you age; learning is more about overcoming your fear than gaining knowledge. GetSetUp was founded with a focus on education since it always provides positive benefits. In addition, it sought to address a market that is underserved – older adults.
Our objectives are to provide economic opportunities for older workers who are often overlooked or face ageism in hiring processes. Along with this, we aim to give digital training, create a community for older adults, give a safe, fun, live, and interactive way with learning opportunities, and provide a place for older adults to teach and share their skills with peers.
3. What made you start GetSetUp? The need for such a platform?
We are building GetSetUp as a global platform for older adults to learn, socialize, get fit and contribute to our communities. I’d like it to be a safe space for seniors to learn without any judgments and build a community. New tools have opened up a world of possibilities for anyone to be an entrepreneur or a creator. So, why should older adults be left behind! We bring older adults into the creator economy by teaching them Shopify, Canva, and digital marketing classes. Once they learn some of the newer tech tools available to them, they can express themselves better and continue engaging. It’s about empowerment and relevance. In fact, with tech on their side, the younger generations would benefit from their collective wisdom.
4. What, according to you, makes GetSetUp stand out amongst other brands?
GetSetUp has built its own proprietary senior-specific social learning platform that makes it easy for older adults to get online, learn technology, engage in mental enrichment activities, and be socially connected. Moreover, its customized video platform is a first for older adults, with no need to access and engage in programming and connect with peers.
Our community is not just about learning but also about connecting with peers in similar situations. It’s much easier to learn with peer learners who have been there and get that. Also, seeing others accomplish something we fear gives us the courage to take the next step ourselves, no matter our age. I believe seniors will only continue to learn together and empower each other to do amazing things.
Older adults are the largest rising population and one that has been overlooked by technology and learning opportunities. However, lifelong learning is essential to health and well-being. Technology is changing rapidly—and those who choose not to learn are left behind—but technology is becoming a critical part of our daily lives, from checking out at the grocery store, ordering food at a restaurant, or even signing up for medical appointments.
Adapting themselves to learn tech skills, job skills, and technology means that older adults can stay connected across generations, with loved ones, remain engaged in the community, and fight social isolation and loneliness.
5. Tell us about the challenges of running this platform?
Our community in India is already familiar with phones and communicating using apps like Whatsapp. We have a customer support team that helps every learner book their first class and go through the steps. We also run new member orientation classes every day to help learners access these classes. So, we have also launched courses in many different languages in India. Most learners in India attend classes on their phones, and we’ve made the app and mobile browsing experience very user-friendly.
6. Tell us how the virtual community of seniors can help each other?
At GetSetUp, all classes take place on one single platform. We have a booking process; people can vote up ideas, community members also give feedback on the topics they would like to see. We recently launched a creator application and a Startup Accelerator program for only older adults too. Anyone above 50 can apply to teach on the platform. The entire idea is first to help older adults get familiar with our platform and then guide them on how to create and engage using digital tools.
We also have a very active group on Facebook where people come and post what they learned to share things they made. The onboarding process includes a New Member orientation class to bring the user online and introduce them to the platform. The users can learn about different topics, including how to go digital for services like banking, online shopping, or creating content.
7. How are you using Social Media to promote your homegrown brand?
We have a very active Facebook community and Instagram page. Our community shares what they discovered on GetSetUp, how they pursue their passions and apply what they learned in classes to everyday experiences. They also connect with each other and encourage each other. We also host events like fitness challenges, journaling week, etc that people from different parts of the world can take up together.
8. What is your 5-year plan for GetSetUp?
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. Also, we want our community to know that life doesn’t stop at 60. You can come and live your best life on GetSetUp. We are already launching a few initiatives to empower this community through initiatives like startup accelerators and cookbooks.
9. Can you share your business model with us?
We offer a community plan to join the platform for free. It includes access to all free classes and allows the user to join community-led sessions, including Interest Groups, and participate in seasonal promotions. We offer subscription plans for anyone who wants to join the community as a learner. For just Rs. 300 a month, members can access 500+ live, interactive classes every week from around the world, have unlimited access to our premium streaming library, and attend exclusive member events, above all the community plan benefits.
We also run partner plans wherein classes are accessible. We have 70+ partners in the USA using this plan.
10. One advice/suggestion you’d like to give aspiring entrepreneurs out there.
There are a lot of opportunities out there to choose from, but nothing is as satisfying as solving a real problem that you or people around you face daily.