Catering to a market that market analysts Frost & Sullivan have forecast will be worth $50bn by 2025, femtech is the subset of apps and gadgets geared at enhancing women’s wellbeing. Currently made up of at least 200 startups worldwide, the companies focus solely on women’s health and are primarily managed by female CEOs and innovators.
Estimates suggest that around $200 billion is being spent on fem tech products each year. Personalized wellness and consumer healthcare technology has been a top-5 investment area in digital health for several years now, and fem tech has brought in overall funding of approximately $1 billion since 2014.
Developers in femtech are confident that the industry can help combat the dearth of women in scientific research, as well the social taboos around women’s health, from menstruation to postnatal depression and breastfeeding.
But currently just 10% of global investment goes to female-led startups according to Forbes. This is why Portfolia, a US-based venture platform financed nearly exclusively by female investors, created the world’s first femtech fund in June 2018. (source: Guardian)
With all this in mind, for our May event we brought together founders, researchers and technologists to discuss topics of fem tech, health tech, wearables and all in between.
Event was hosted at our partners and sponsors MHPC Communications offices in central London.
Our panelists were:
Peter Astbury is a designer and entrepreneur on a mission to tackle women’s health issues. His product for menopause, Grace, aims to automatically detect and prevent hot flushes before they have a chance to appear. Inspiration came following a conversation with his manager during an internship where he was shocked by both the number of women affected by menopause and the lack of solutions. Having graduated in 2017, Peter has continued development on Grace and intends to ultimately change global perceptions of women’s health, paving the way for stylish health tech designed to be seen.
Bartek Hugo Trzciński is CTO at Untitled Kingdom, particularly interested in new technologies and creating software for IoT products. He is aniOS engineer with 10 years of experience. In his work, he believes that the quality of the code is the main key to success. He is also multiple participant of the Apple WWDC in the States and public speaker.
Ruby Raut is a passionate environmentalist on a mission to create the most comfortable and eco-friendly menstrual product that completely replaces disposable tampons and pads. She is the co-founder and CEO of WUKA period pants. She is a perfect example "adversities creates opportunities”. She developed the WUKA period pants from her personal struggle and her determination to create a product so that girls and women like her not have to go through the struggles that she went through when it came to manage their periods.
Kateryna Portmann studied an MBA at the Steinbeis University of Berlin, International Business at the Institute of International Relations in Kyiv. Her superpower is product management, helping teams outperform by organizing work in the right way and with the right processes. In 2018, she moved to London and joined Medopad as Product Manager. Medopad is a global health tech company with a mission to help people with chronic, complex, and rare diseases to live longer, better lives. Medopad works with world-leading healthcare providers, pharmaceutical, insurance and technology companies, including Apple and Tencent, to build a connected digital health ecosystem. Headquartered in London, Medopad has offices in the US and China.
Graham Rittener is one of the Founding Partners of Zinc, a Strategic Design & Innovation consultancy, based in Barcelona & London, working at the intersection of design, technology and business. Zinc was a leader in Femtech before it was called 'Femtech', designing the 'vision' product for one of the earliest pioneers in the space - Bloomlife - the growing successful business focused on pregnancy and birth. Since then, Zinc has been involved in projects around menopause, menstruation underwear, bra sizing, breastfeeding & breast pumps and female urinary incontinence. Graham has spent most of his 20 year career helping to grow and develop some of the best creative consulting firms in the world, spanning many disciplines including innovation, human centered design (physical & digital) branding and interactive experiences.
Event was moderated by Madeleine Harris Smith, who works in healthcare communications at MHPC, with a specialist focus on innovation, disruption and public health. She helps organisations to tackle the biggest public policy and communications challenges of the day. She is a commentator on issues connected to Fem Tech, having featured on podcasts and written articles on the subject.
Many thanks to our sponsors and partners MHP Communications for hosting us, providing us with food and refreshments and for their support during this event!
This blog was written by Marija Butkovic, Digital Marketing and PR strategist, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables. She regularly writes and speaks on topics of wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT, entrepreneurship and diversity. Visit marijabutkovic.co.uk or follow Marija on Twitter @MarijaButkovic @Women_Wearables.