FemHealth Founders’ pilot accelerator taking off
FemHealth Founders (FHF), a female-led group in Northwest Arkansas trying to assist different girls’s healthcare startups within the heartland, is raring to host its inaugural eight-week pilot accelerator.
After the three founders met by means of accelerator applications and enterprise connections in Northwest Arkansas, they realized they shared the identical ache factors in girls’s entrepreneurship and feminine healthcare. FHF has set targets for ladies to resolve their very own medical issues with startup companies.
FHF is accepting purposes for the eight-week accelerator that begins within the spring of 2023. They may select 5 female-led cohorts to take part and obtain a $10,000 non-diluted grant gifted from the Walton Household Basis.
The FHF group contains co-founders Natalie Shew, Elizabeth Prenger and April Roy. They really feel linked by all being moms whereas juggling companies they lead in a male-heavy ecosystem.
“We got here collectively to create our personal accelerator applications,” mentioned Shew, the group’s managing principal and the founding father of a consulting enterprise, 3P Artistic. “We’re coining the brand new time period of ‘femhealth’ as a result of ‘femtech’ is usually a little complicated as a result of we’re not simply tech platforms.
“FemHealth is something that uniquely, singularly or in another way impacts girls when it comes to healthcare … We created one thing that we’d’ve favored to have, however we’ve by no means seen or had entry to this. We’re beginning with this pilot accelerator program as a result of it would give us an opportunity to know a small group of ladies founders who have already got an concept or early-stage enterprise, they usually’re trying to scale and entry capital.”
Prenger is the startup’s advertising and marketing and public relations lead. She can be the founder and chief model officer of Prose Artistic, a model messaging, copywriting, modifying and artistic writing firm.
“A few yr in the past, I used to be going by means of an accelerator program for an concept that I had round a postpartum restoration product,” she mentioned. In keeping with Prenger, most of the material officers have been males who had not skilled postpartum ache.
“I saved operating into irritating limitations. My mentor was a person whose background was in medical units,” Prenger mentioned. “However he was very conscientious concerning the subject. He was pissed off with the variety of units created by males that have been meant for ladies.”
Prenger mentioned the mentor launched her to Roy, the founding father of femPAQ Inc., the state’s solely femtech firm. She created emergency menstruation packs in 2018.
“We take the ‘oops’ out of surprising intervals,” Roy defined.
She received the accelerator and was ultimately linked to her FHF entrepreneurs. “I got here for a boot camp as a part of a gross sales problem that the Waltons have been part of. Power introduced us collectively. It’s been a yr since we received collectively and mentioned we’d do that. All being mothers and juggling our companies additionally introduced us collectively.”
After assembly each few weeks, the founders started to construct FHF. “We determined we must always remedy our personal drawback,” Shew mentioned. “We actually needed to really feel like there’s a place curated for us as girls entrepreneurs.”
The FHF pilot accelerator program is designed for women-led, early-stage companies working to supply options for ladies’s healthcare points. Examples are menstrual, maternal, postpartum and different well being issues that don’t get a lot consideration from present healthcare options. They’re partnering with StitchCrew, a female-led enterprise accelerator in Oklahoma Metropolis.
“We’re taking a scale method,” Shew mentioned concerning the startup’s funds, utilizing a Walton Household Basis grant and the StitchCrew partnership. “As our fiscal sponsor, StitchCrew has the playbook for this. Our aim as a nonprofit is to deliver round $200,000 in further funding in early 2023, so we are able to end this primary pilot accelerator.”
FHF plans to broaden this system to incorporate extra cohorts and ladies founders.
“We wish to be certain that we’ve received expansive partnerships globally, not simply right here within the heartland,” Shew mentioned. “It would take assets and capital to get this rolling, however we hope to be this connection.”
The roundtable dialogue, Funding for Founders, at The Collaborative in Bentonville on Sept. 27 continued to assist unpack the startup’s monetary plan.
“We had an incredible panel of audio system,” Prenger mentioned. “The aim was to discover numerous funding sources out there to founders, not simply instantly go into enterprise capital, however to demystify the fundraising course of.”
FHF needs to associate with organizations already in maternal well being. “We’re within the backside three of maternal well being outcomes and pregnancy-related deaths in Arkansas,” Shew mentioned. “We wish to see grassroots and initiatives pop up that aren’t simply nonprofit, but additionally innovators in these communities crop up companies then financially empower them as girls to resolve issues for different girls.”
Shew defined that lower than 1% of the healthcare pipeline relies on girls’s well being options.
“There’s loads of knowledge on the market, but it surely hasn’t been centralized in a single area,” she mentioned. “Getting extra knowledge on girls’s well being is one other milestone we wish to hit. One instance is cardiac points. There’s documented analysis that claims girls’s signs differ from males’s when having a cardiac episode. Sadly, there’s so little analysis.”
FSF’s long-term aim is to have 50 women-led healthcare corporations by 2026.
“We debated that metric,” Prenger mentioned. “For some time, we thought there was no approach. As we began speaking to extra stakeholders engaged within the startup and entrepreneurial world, we acknowledged a large curiosity and alternative hole to fill. I feel being in Northwest Arkansas in a blazing scorching entrepreneurial setting is an incentive to work right here.”
If we are able to’t try this right here within the heartland, within the yard of Fortune 500 corporations with loads of funding and retail alternatives, I don’t know if we are able to do it wherever.”
“We now have an actual alternative right here to be the blueprint of how we have interaction and deal with girls’s well being,” Roy mentioned. “I’m hoping that after we try this within the heartland, we’ll have the ability to broaden that all through the nation. If we are able to have 50 corporations, take into consideration what we are able to do after that. I think about that so many ladies will apply for the accelerator… I’m excited to see that quantity as a result of I feel folks don’t understand that female-led companies are on the market. They didn’t understand I used to be right here.”