By connecting older adults to college students, we bridge the gap between two distinct generations




Papa is a platform dedicated to solve the loneliness crisis. By connecting older adults to college students, we bridge the gap between two distinct generations. Our enthusiastic students – known as Papa Pals, are considered “Grandkids On-Demand!” to our members. Companionship, assistance, and transportation provided by our pals can be easily accessed through the Papa mobile app,, or toll-free line 1-800-348-7951. Health plans, health systems, and employers, offer our Papa program as a benefit to our consumers.

According to a national survey conducted by Cigna, the two loneliest generations in the United States are college aged young adults and the elderly. In an effort to address the needs of both populations, we at Papa hire young, fun, and educated pre-healthcare students and nursing students to work with our older adult members. Our program offers real-world job experience for future leaders in healthcare.

At Papa, we implement a rigorous on-boarding process. After multiple preliminary screenings such as: personality tests, background checks, and motor vehicle checks, prospective pals complete our comprehensive online training. This step is critical to the success of Papa, as it ensures the safety and satisfaction of our members. Of those who apply for a position, only 15% become a Papa Pal.

Isolated older adults are often in need of additional assistance at home. Health care partnered with Papa grant members an allotted amount of hours a month with a Papa Pal. Our Papa Pals accompany our members to the doctor’s office, help them with home tasks, and engage them in technology, while providing general companionship. Members also have the option to independently request services directly through our website and upgrade to a premium membership.

Andrew Parker, Founder & CEO

Before devoting his work fulltime to Papa, Andrew had a leadership role at MDLIVE; a Florida telehealth company. While working at MDLIVE, Andrew sought out to find someone to support his grandfather, Papa. It was clear to Andrew that his grandfather needed some assistance, but he felt a traditional home care service was not necessary. Papa was still brimming with energy, and would thrive best with a fun and energetic companion. After reaching out to his friends and family on Facebook, Andrew connected with and hired Andrea, a pre-med student from South America. Andrea’s natural passion for caring and health was evident through her authentic relationship with his grandfather. Until his passing, Papa enjoyed regular visits with his new pal.

Andrew witnessed his grandfather’s health improve as Andrea began her visits. His background in healthcare allowed him to identify the power of tethering these two generations. He sought out to create a consumer service dedicated in supporting older adults by connecting them to college students for companionship.

In 2016, Andrew left his career at MDLIVE to work full time on Papa with his co-founder and friend, Alfredo Vaamonde. Thanks to the help of YCombinator; the prestigious startup incubator in San Francisco, Andrew and Alfredo successfully launched their program. Three years later, Papa is now active in over 15 states, connecting hundreds of older adults with college students every day.

Other INNOVATE® Ecosystems