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Maya Baratz Jordan On Building Female Focused Healthcare Brands Through Founders Factory New York

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Maya Baratz Jordan, CEO and Partner at Founders Factory New York.

Casey Ward

Maya Baratz Jordan became an industry expert in branding, working for Disney, Flickr, and running Techstars’ Comcast NBCUniversal program. Jordan’s experience has made her an active angel investor and advisor to early stage startups on a mission to help brands reach their full potential. “I’ve always loved building new things from scratch that can solve problems or inspire people. I started my career as a product manager, building new digital products in the market in young companies like Flickr and later in bigger companies like Disney, where I also wrote a patent. When I wasn’t developing something new at Disney, I was looking for budding companies that would develop products that we could use for our audiences. I have identified strong teams working on interesting and relevant products and working closely with them to massage their products for mass consumption. As a by-product of this commitment, these companies increased their next rounds of funding or quickly exited because of the traction they built together, ”she said. “That made me curious to invest my time in startups not only through coaching and support, but also through capital. I started angel investing and coaching startups through numerous programs including Techstars, and then founded and led a Techstars program in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal. Through all of these experiences, I have learned the effects of providing startups with practical support to help them grow. ”

With more than 90 percent of startups expecting failure, Jordan’s passion not only to survive but to realize companies to their full potential led them to partner with Founders Factory in London. This partnership resulted in the Founders Factory New York (FFNY). FFNY is a fund and venture studio focused on building and investing in consumer healthcare companies. The fund offers seed capital, meaningful, tailored practical operational support and access to potential scaling opportunities through our corporate partners. FFNY is supported by Johnson & Johnson and is part of the global Founders Factory network and other global partners such as L’Oréal, Aviva, Marks & Spencer, Reckitt Benckiser, Holtzbrinck, Guardian Media Group, easyJet, CSC, Standard Bank, Netcare, and Aviva France.

All of our portfolio founders receive bespoke, dedicated support for a period of six months (9 months for studio companies) from our in-house team of operators who lead functions from engineering to growth. In addition, you receive support and scaling options from our corporate partners. When we say bespoke, we mean it too. Every company goes through a unique program. Usually we start by deconstructing each company and getting to the heart of their most pressing needs and long-term vision. We then design a roadmap, create stretch goals and assign ourselves metrics that we want to achieve that can guide us on our way, ”explains Jordan. “For a company, the goals can be to increase the average customer order value and develop the next product. For another company, goals may include raising funds, building their team, and determining the right back-end infrastructure for their product. We regularly check with our founders to make sure we’re doing our best to support them and make any necessary adjustments. We do this through the NPS scoring, which acts as our GPS to guide us on how best to coordinate our assistance. Our founders have consistently given us 100 NPS, which shows us that we are on the right track. “

All of FFNY’s portfolio companies that have completed the program have successfully and quickly raised their next rounds of funding from world-class investors, with more in-depth investor demand than originally planned. “With its most recent funding, our portfolio physical therapy company, Origin, just announced its expansion to advance maternity, menopausal and sexual medicine for women in the United States and save $ 65 billion for the American healthcare system. Our portfolio company Stix, dubbed “Hims and Hers” for women and recognized by Vogue for promoting home health care, has expanded its popular line of products to include urinary tract infection tests and treatment kits, as well as prenatal vitamins, transforming the company from a fertility and pregnancy company into one More holistic women’s health brand loved by customers not only for its discreet tests and treatments, but also for its free, top-notch, and accessible women’s health education. And our portfolio company Expectful, a mental health platform for hopeful, expectant, and new parents, has partnered with Johnsons and launched prenatal exercise classes and doula-led support cohorts for postpartum mothers to help women and parents better their fertility, among other things , Pregnancy and parenting trips. There are many more great examples and we are proud of all of our founders for making their businesses grow so quickly and meaningfully, especially during a pandemic, ”said Jordan of the success of FFNY’s portfolio companies.

A key factor in FFNY’s approach to building these consumer healthcare startups are women-led and BIPOC founders. “Without a mandate, 100% of our portfolio companies are run by women, at least half of whom identify as BIPOC. We invested in these women, not because of their gender or race, but because we believed they would build world-changing businesses. And while they are still in the early stages, so far they have all proven to be able to grow quickly and attract the right outside resources, teams and traction, ”said Jordan. “Underrepresented founders are often a blind spot in our industry. The figures show, for example, that women in management positions outperform men, but investments in companies run by women only account for just under 2% of all VC-financed startups. As an investor, I am always looking for those lucrative blind spots. As a consumer, I know that companies and products are often a reflection of their creators. So unless these creators reflect the breadth of their customer base, their products cannot serve them properly either. By ensuring healthy and diverse founder representation, you ensure the creation of products and services that serve a diverse population. “

Jordan also stated that despite the fact that 92% of femtech or new women’s health businesses are started by women, women-run startups make up only about 2% of all VC-funded startups. This means that fewer companies that focus on the real needs of women are given the opportunity to realize their potential. This also means that fewer women founders are given the opportunity to build thriving companies. There’s a negative loop in the game: as fewer women are funded, fewer women’s health-centric businesses are started to thrive, and women face the burden of Byzantine health issues that range from pregnancy and postpartum care to parental support up to menopause – in general, a lack of access to products and services that enable them to take responsibility for their own health so that they can concentrate better on their life and work.

“We know that companies run by women generally do better; According to a McKinsey study, companies in the top quartile of gender diversity in leadership teams were 21% more likely to outperform profitability and 27% more likely to generate more value. Imagine what women could achieve if we removed the funding and health barriers they now face. At FFNY, 100% of our portfolio companies are run by women and many of their businesses are focused on women’s health. By investing in companies that solve women’s health problems, we are helping create a new flywheel effect where more women-run businesses are funded and have the chance to positively impact the lives of other women with their products and services, ”added she added.

For FFNY, the fund sees that if you go a step further, the women who benefit from these companies will have fewer health issues that could distract themselves from successful lives at home and at work. Jordan and FFNY believe that these shifts will free even more women to create and / or take on leadership roles in companies, giving them not only a better opportunity to realize their potential and improve the quality of their lives and those of those around them, too to increase the number of successful companies.

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Women’s Health

Why I Invested: Whitney Port on investing in prenatal vitamin brand Perelel

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Perelel, touting himself to be the first OBGYN-founded prenatal vitamin supplement brand to offer targeted nutrition at each stage of pregnancy, recently announced the completion of a $4.7 million seed fundraise with notable participation from celebrities in business, fashion, and wellness.

The company’s subscription-based business model spans a number of product offerings targeted for the particular life stage the customer is in, including a conception support pack; prenatal packs for first, second, and third trimesters; packs for postpartum and early motherhood; and daily vitamins for women of all reproductive ages. Perelel also has offerings for men, including a multi-support pack and additional supplemental products for iron, libido, and probiotic support.

The Hills star and Cozeco founder Whitney Port recently shared more with Fortune about her own prenatal experiences and subsequent interest to invest in the company.

  • Startup: Perelel
  • Location: Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Year founded: 2018
  • valuation: Declined to disclose
  • investment level: Seed
  • Number of employees: Nine
  • Other major investors: The seed round was led by Unilever Ventures with additional investors including Willow Growth Partners; Gaby Dalkin, CEO of What’s Gaby Cooking; Marissa Hermer, restaurateur and owner of the Draycott, Olivetta, and Issima; Rocky Barnes, founder of The Bright Side; Julia Hunter, dermatologist and founder of Wholistic Dermatology; Joan Nyugen, co-founder and CEO of Bumo; Aimee Song, founder of Song of Style and Two Songs; and Ali Weiss, chief marketing officer of Glossier

Why she invested, in her own words

Since striving for child number two, I’ve become much more conscious about the ingredients I put into my body. In my research on prenatal vitamins, I learned that most supplement brands on the market offer a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition, which neglects essential dosages and nutrients during the different stages of pregnancy and postpartum. After multiple miscarriages, I learned there isn’t just one answer or one solution to fertility problems. Each miscarriage I’ve had occurred for a different reason.

So, as someone who can intimately relate to these multileveled issues that Perelel is tackling head-on in women’s healthcare, I was immediately drawn to the brand’s innovation and mission-driven business model. After the birth of my son, postpartum presented additional problem areas for me and I needed a boost; Perelel checked all the boxes I needed. Now I know countless women who are struggling similarly and would truly benefit from the product.

Perelel is much more than a business venture for me, and the value proposition goes further than a dollar sign. Its products are intentionally formulated for each stage of womanhood by a team of top women’s health doctors, including my reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Andy Huang (who formulated their Conception Support vitamin packs).

Also, the intentionality behind building the brand community moved me. It’s much more than a customer base; it’s an intimately supportive network of women where we can lean on each other for emotional support and tap Perelel’s panel of doctors and experts for insight. Finally, for every subscription Perelel donates a supply of their own prenatal vitamins to underserved women in the US who lack access to high-quality prenatal care.

This is an installation of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.

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​​While UI faculty are warned against even talking about emergency contraception, WSU will offer emergency contraceptives in vending machine

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Separated by just 8 miles, Washington State University and the University of Idaho remain vastly different places. Now in the post Roe v. Wade era, the differences are more apparent than ever.

This week, the University of Idaho warned faculty and staff that counseling students about abortion or contraception could lead to termination or result in a felony charge. The warning was delivered in a controversial memo that prompted a response from the White House. Meanwhile, across the state line, WSU’s student government announced funding for a contraceptive vending machine that will dispense pregnancy tests, condoms and Plan B, the so-called “morning-after” pill.

“WSU is part of a state system in (Washington) and Idaho is part of a state system in a state that is much more conservative,” said Mike Satz, former law professor and associate dean at the University of Idaho. “The workplace environment is very different for both schools and what it’s like to be a student is very different for both schools.”

The differences have led to confusion and frustration among students and faculty, according to multiple interviews and media coverage.

“It feels awful that my body is having to be used in a political fight,” said Alexandria Miller, a student at the University of Idaho.

Miller worries that the women’s health center on the UI campus will be restricted in the help they can offer students in need of contraceptives and counsel around pregnancy. The Idaho law mentioned in the memo also states that the university cannot dispense any emergency contraception except in the case of rape.

As of now, it is safe for Idahoans to travel to Washington to use resources, but that could change, Satz said.

“There are certain members of the legislature that have clearly shown their intent to want to control women’s choices, no matter where they are,” Satz said. “That is something that advocates for women’s health are looking at in Idaho because we’re very concerned about that.”

At WSU, a different political landscape

WSU’s Director of University Affairs Nikolai Sublett has been spearheading a way to bring an emergency contraceptive vending machine to WSU at a reasonable price. His inspiration came from an Instagram post.

Students were asking where to get Plan B and responses poured in saying that even though Plan B is accessible at places like Safeway, Walmart and Planned Parenthood, they are either sold out or are too far away from campus to be readily available, Sublett said.

Funding for the machine itself, which costs about $4,000, is coming from the budget of the Associated Students of WSU, while funding for the actual products will come from the student government’s Coug Health Fund, he said.

Sublett said emergency contraceptives will be priced at $15 a pill, $35 less than the usual name-brand price.

Excluding the $15 fee for the pill, bringing the vending machine to WSU will be no additional cost to students, he said. Sublett made a purchase request for the emergency contraceptives vending machine on Sept. 19 and hopes to get it ordered within the next two weeks, he said.

At least 22 universities around the country have vending machines for emergency contraceptives on their campuses, with at least 12 more in the works, according to an article from Bloomberg.

Safe sex supplies such as condoms, dental dams and lube are easily accessible on campus at WSU’s Women’s Center and the university’s Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center, according to Amy Sharp, director of WSU Women’s Center.

Sharp said the only option for emergency contraception on campus costs $25 from the Cougar Health Services pharmacy, Sharp said.

“It just adds more accessibility for our students,” Sharp said.

Idaho employees unwilling to speak

Until recently, condoms have been made available on campus to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Now, they are only advertised to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, Miller said.

“It’s almost considered offensive to talk about the facts of what a condom is used for,” she said.

In media reports, University of Idaho faculty and staff are requesting anonymity when they discuss the topic. The memo urged staff and faculty to refrain from speaking on these issues until they know more.

The fact that professors are asking for anonymity in interviews speaks to a toxic environment in which faculty and staff are afraid to speak, Satz said. He worries the memo could also damage faculty-student conversations for students seeking resources.

“I cannot tell you how many times as a faculty member I’ve had students come with really serious personal problems, and they came to me in my case, because I was one of the few faculty members of color on campus and they knew that they could trust me,” he said. “In this case, I think it’s going to be very damaging to those kinds of situations.”

Satz, who left the University of Idaho in 2020 and has co-founded the Idaho 97 Project, which advocates for sensitive public health measures and an end to hate, intimidation and disinformation, has been outspoken on the issue. This week, he posted a tweet noting the university memo and the Idaho law cite language that was originally written in 1887 – when Idaho was still a territory.

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Women’s Health

ER Goddess: Low-Income Women and Women of Color Will Bear th… : Emergency Medicine News

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figures:

abortion, bias

FU2-7figures

Half of American women seeking abortions live on incomes below the federal poverty level. (N Engl J Med. 2022;386[22]:2061; https://bit.ly/3zYFcRy.) It will be these women—women who are least able to support a pregnancy and a child—who will disproportionately bear the brunt of post-Roe abortion bans.

In anti-abortion states, only women with the financial resources, ability to take time off work, and pay for child care will be able to seek abortions elsewhere. What was formerly a right for all women is now in too many states a privilege for those with money and connections.

My patients generally don’t have money or connections. I work in an urban inner-city ED where the surrounding neighborhood has a lower per capita income, more single-mother households, and a child poverty rate higher than 99.9 percent of the neighborhoods in America. (Neighborhood Scout. http://bit.ly/2Oc37XD.) I recently saw a 12-year-old who is sexually active. Her mother, who had just learned her preteen was having sex, brought her in concerned that she could be pregnant. What will happen to this 12-year-old and other girls and women who come to my ED when they can’t access abortion?

The Turnaway study offers some unsettling insights into what life will be like for women after they are denied an abortion. (Foster, Diana Greene. The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion. New York: Scribner, 2021; https://bit.ly/3JsHBHz.) The prospective longitudinal study compared the trajectories of women who were turned away by abortion clinics because they were too far along to the trajectories of women who received abortions at the same clinic.

Still stigmatized

The two groups were similar in demographics and socioeconomics; what separated them was who got to the clinic in time and who didn’t. Interviews with the women every six months during the five years following their pregnancies revealed that receiving an abortion did not harm women’s health and well-being. On the contrary, carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term harmed their finances, health, and families.

The Turnaway study showed that women who were denied an abortion were more likely to end up living in poverty, be unemployed, and go through bankruptcy or eviction and less likely to have money for food, gas, or other basic necessities. Women denied an abortion were more likely to be with a partner who abused them and to end up as a single parent. They were less likely to agree with the statement, “I feel happy when my child laughs or smiles” and more likely to say they felt trapped as a mother.

Even teens could be criminalized for pregnancy if we continue on our current path of stripping women of their reproductive health rights. It sounds like a dystopian novel, but women have already been jailed for miscarrying, something that happens naturally in 12 to 15 percent of pregnancies of women in their 20s, a number that rises to about 25 percent by age 40. (Cleveland Clinic. July 19, 2022; https://cle.clinic/3oUNfIV.)

Brittney Poolaw was 19 when she presented to an Oklahoma ED having a miscarriage at about 16 weeks gestational age. She was asked about illicit drug use, and she answered honestly that she had used methamphetamine. The fetus tested positive for methamphetamine at autopsy. No conclusive evidence proved that methamphetamine caused her miscarriage, but she was sentenced to four years in prison for first-degree manslaughter. She was all of 21 by then. The autopsy reported that the miscarriage could have been caused by congenital abnormality or placental abruption, but this was apparently ignored. (BBC. Nov. 12, 2021; https://bbc.in/3Q3lKJ2.)

Brittney, a Native American, faced the same type of prosecution that many low-income women, drug-using women, and women of color will face if the current legal climate surrounding pregnancy and abortion persists. The majority of women with unplanned pregnancies reported to the Turnaway researchers that they had used contraception, but these women are still stigmatized, as if forgoing abstinence is a moral shortcoming and birth control doesn’t have a significant failure rate.

Supporting Women in the ED

Contrary to what lawmakers may assume, decisions to have an abortion are not casual but serious and agonizing, often made in order to take care of family. The Turnaway interviews showed that most women seeking abortion were already mothers, and their children were more likely to hit developmental milestones and less likely to live in poverty in the years after they terminated a pregnancy. Many who had abortions went on to have more children; their subsequent pregnancies were more likely to be planned and those children had better outcomes too.

Women who seek abortion after their state’s gestational age cutoff often don’t even realize they are pregnant until it’s too late, due to factors like irregular menses and lack of morning sickness, the Turnaway study found. Nonetheless, strangers will impose their morality on these women’s private reproductive health decisions.

At best, our low-income, marginalized patients left with no option but to carry an unwanted pregnancy will face the loss of life they had envisioned for themselves. At worst, they will face their own death from complications of pregnancy. None of the women in the Turnaway study who received an abortion died from it, but two women who were turned away died from complications of pregnancy. The risk of dying from childbirth is 50 to 130 times greater than the risk of dying from abortion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (N Engl J Med. 2022;386[22]:2061; https://bit.ly/3zYFcRy.)

Are we willing to sacrifice the people who gestate fetuses on the altar of fetal rights?

No matter our political or religious beliefs, we EPs need to be empathetic to patients who feel frightened and trapped by the disturbing trend of forced birth and criminal sentences for pregnancy outcomes. Our patients may not seek health care during a miscarriage or after an illegal abortion because they are too scared. We need to be ready to support them with whatever resources we can when they end up in our EDs. Sadly, we also need to be ready for more of them to come experiencing the medical emergencies that will inevitably occur when a common health care procedure becomes illegal and inaccessible.

dr Simonsis a full-time night emergency physician in Richmond, VA, and a mother of two. Follow her on Twitter@ERGoddessMDand read her past columns athttp://bit.ly/EMN-ERGoddess.

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