Inspiring Women with Laurie McGraw
EP. 104 Enough advice already!! We need checks!! Brittany Barreto on the state of play in FemTech
Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Brittany Barreto, PhD, a geneticist who has focused her career on FemTech (that’s not fintech, it’s femtech, which should just be called healthtech, but for now, let’s stay focused..). Her company FemTech Focus aims to raise awareness on this $1.1T industry and to support the community of over 1000 founders in this space.. This is done through her podcast, virtual communities with >2000 members; events to support growth in this field and then very importantly, through ground breaking market research. Brittany’s extroverted and passionate energy come through in this terrific Inspiring Women episode!
Hear Brittany talk about:
- How she found her home not in the science lab but when finding a group of entrepreneurs drinking beer, eating pizza and wearing jeans.
- How women have been excluded from science, research, value hypotheses for every dimension of health care/device/science and delivery. It is changing now, but slowly.
- The gap in funding for femtech companies – which is not at Series A but rather at the seed stage. Perhaps due to a lack of caring from people these issues do not impact.
- Her best advice is actually a grand audience question – when you walk around the world, just ask yourself if sex was considered in making this? More often than not the answer will be NO. But asking the question and seeing the opportunity to create a world where it is normalized is very exciting to Brittany.
- What will we see in the years ahead for FemTech? Answer: “So many exits…so many new leaders…” and very hopefully, many more men participating in the innovation and launch process.
You can follow Brittany on LinkedIn.
Brittany Cliffnotes: I am a geneticist who launched the world’s first DNA-based dating app (Pheramor). The company ultimately closed but I sure did learn a lot! Then I launched in a career in venture. I was Senior Venture Associate at Capital Factory, the most active venture fund in Texas. I was tasked with opening their Houston branch and had a blast doing it. In 2019 I discovered an industry called FemTech and I learned about the grave inequalities in women’s health. In March 2020, during the covid-19 lockdown, I started a FemTech podcast and gained international traction overnight. Now I talk about vulvas full time via my 501c3 non-profit, FemTech Focus! I co-founded a FemTech venture fund, Coyote Ventures, and consult companies on female-centered healthcare.
I got my footing as a CEO while finishing my PhD in genetics, that’s when I co-founded Pheramor, the nation’s first DNA-based dating app and also launched a secondary product called WeHaveChemistry for couples. We successfully raised over $1.3M and won dozens of awards. Although Pheramor and WeHaveChemistry did not become the unicorn I hoped for, I earned my entrepreneurial stripes and pivoted to become a Venture Capitalist.
My role at Capital Factory as a Houston-based Senior Venture Associate was to evaluate startups, mentor founders, and assist in deal flow and review for the Fund. As the first associate to be based in Houston, my role was to establish the Houston branch through outreach, growth, and forming partnerships. Under my leadership, our Houston accelerator portfolio has grown by 205%.
I am frequently requested to consult startups, as well as deliver keynotes and workshops that highlight my areas of expertise which are: FemTech, going from science to entrepreneurship, and fundraising.
Now I’m on a mission to advance the women’s health and wellness community through my latest world-changing venture – FemTech Focus. I am host of the FemTech Focus podcast which has over 150 episodes, 40K downloads, and subscribers in 107 countries. FemTech Focus has assisted hundreds of femtech founders to build, launch, and succeed through their events, resources, and market research reports. Additionally, I am the co-founding partner of Coyote Ventures, an early-stage femtech investment firm and femtech special advisor to Goddess Gaia Ventures, a growth-stage women’s health fund in the UK.