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As we recognize National Women’s Health Week, a time to encourage women and girls across the country to make their health a priority, we’re also celebrating the leaders who are defining the future of women’s health.
We recently announced our Femtech 30 Brands of 2023, recognizing founders and leaders of femtech companies, advocates, investors, journalists and many others who are breaking barriers, bringing attention to the once-taboo topic of women’s wellness and creating solutions to advance women’s health.
Now we’re continuing the conversation to help the next generation of founders launch and grow their femtech companies. And who better to ask for this advice than leaders of our Femtech 30 companies? Read on for the top advice for the next generation of founders:
Georgia Cavanaugh is an investor at SteelSky Ventures, a leading VC fund that invests in companies that create better access, care and outcomes in women’s healthcare. From medical devices, digital health and new healthcare delivery models, to innovations in consumer health, ePharmacy and retail therapeutics, SteelSky Ventures is leading the way for innovation in the femtech space. Along with her prior experience in strategy and operations at early-stage women’s health tech startups, Georgia shares that femtech founders can leverage and entire community for support:
“The women’s health ecosystem is highly collaborative. Organizations like Women of Wearables, Femtech Focus and Femtech Insider provide invaluable resources for the women’s health community. Accelerators such as FemTech Lab, Tech4Eva and 51 Labs offer guidance tailored to women’s health founders, and funds like SteelSky Ventures, RH Capital and Avestria invest in women's health innovations. Seek out and build your support system - you don’t have to go it alone!”
Michael Conward, Ph.D. is Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder of MyLÚA Health, a virtual maternal care platform for patients and providers that promotes health literacy, improves health outcomes and bridges access to care through remote monitoring. Dr. Conward is an experienced tech entrepreneur and mechanical engineer who also serves as Chief Technology Officer at a semiconductor startup. From his experience as an engineer and serial entrepreneur, Dr. Conward has this to share with fellow founders:
“‘Ready to launch’ means ‘ready to go-to-market,’ and the first thing that comes to my mind as an engineer and serial entrepreneur is ‘scalability.’ In particular, I’d encourage entrepreneurs to think about scalability from the very early stages of product build. Combining this mindset with solid customer discovery increases the probability of market acceptance and growth. Additionally, I would say to never stop continuing market research and consistently strive for innovation; that way, you can maintain a competitive advantage during the launch and scaling phase.”
Nara Lee is Founder & CEO of fertility startup Doveras. The company started as a fertility concierge service, helping individuals and couples navigate their fertility journeys. In early 2023, Doveras launched its first digital product, Pre-Pregnancy Clean Up, to provide personalized lifestyle programs backed by the latest science to help improve fertility potential. Following her own company's recent growth, Nara shares:
“Defining your company's north star and your ‘why’ can help the whole team get aligned and also provide the fuel your company needs to get through the inevitable tough moments.”
At OCON Therapeutics, CEO Keren Leshem is on a mission to improve and impact women’s health and quality of life, developing an innovative pipeline of products based on the company’s patented intrauterine drug-delivery platform. Beyond her role as CEO, Keren has over 20 years of experience in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, she serves as board director and mentor for several organizations focused on women’s health, and she is a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer 2022. As a leader and true change agent in the femtech space, Keren shares:
“Understand your audience and build a diverse team around you. Solve a real unmet need. Get involved in the community. And don't forget to have fun!!!”
Together with her co-founder Vida Delrahim, Ronit Menashe launched WeNatal to provide science-based prenatal supplements for women and men, shifting prenatal care from Me to We. Celebrating one year since the launch of WeNatal, Ronit reflects on the experience of launching and growing her femtech company:
“Launching a successful femtech company takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance. It took us over two years to launch WeNatal, our prenatal supplement brand for women and men. Despite the challenges, we successfully launched a year ago, and our business is thriving but it wasn't always easy. You have to drive your mission regardless of the hurdles that get in the way!
Find an Amazing Co-Founder: Starting a company can be a challenging and long journey. Having a co-founder who understands your vision and is willing to support you through the ups and downs. This person should be someone you can trust and communicate with effectively. A great co-founder will bring a different perspective and skillset to the table, which can enhance the overall success of the business.
Build a Network: Relationships with other entrepreneurs are critical to the success of any business. Building relationships with those who are slightly ahead of you can be incredibly valuable as they have already navigated some of the challenges you may face. Additionally, helping those who are behind you can be a great way to give back to those less experienced than you.
Ask for What You Need: Don't be afraid to ask for help or resources when you need them. Everyone is busy, so you have to be specific about what you need and how they can support you. Whether it's asking your network to help spread your message, follow you on IG, get advice from a mentor, or feedback from customers, don't be afraid to ask.
Focus on Your Consumers and Their Needs: Building a femtech company means addressing the needs of your consumers. Take the time to understand their pain points and create a product or service that meets their needs. At WeNatal we are 100% focused on education because there is so much confusion and stress in the fertility space. We are putting out blogs, newsletters and content on social and are not worried about making sales. We are truly focused on helping people and as a result the business comes naturally.”
With decades of experience in private investment, David Yadegar co-founded Origin after his wife gave birth to their son in 2018 and he realized the lack of therapy she received during her pregnancy and postpartum. Origin provides physical therapy for the pelvic floor and whole body, treating commonly overlooked health issues related to pregnancy, postpartum, menopause and sexual health. The company now offers in-person care throughout California and Texas and virtual care for patients nationwide. On a mission to expand until Origin is the standard of care for every woman across the U.S., David offers the following advice:
“You have to be all-in, and believe that failure is not an option.”
Meet these leaders and others from our Femtech 30 Brands of 2023 to hear inspiring stories of how they launched their femtech companies that are defining the future of women’s health and wellness.
If you’re a femtech founder ready to bring your solution to market or accelerate your company’s growth, talk with our femtech PR team with the proven track record of driving powerful results.
At Bolt PR, our eye is on the future – and the future is femtech.