Know any incredible startups innovating women's health? Apply for FemTech Lab's Autumn cohort!

FemTech Lab Applications open

Know any incredible start-ups innovating women’s health?

FemTech Lab are looking for ambitious and mission-driven femtech entrepreneurs for their 3-month accelerator.

The 12-week programme is uniquely designed around the specific needs of the women’s health technology sector.

The format is a hybrid between virtual and in-person sessions. The majority of the workshops and mentoring will be conducted virtually. There will be two intensive in-person bootcamps.

Applications for FemTech Lab’s Autumn cohort are now open. The application deadline is 10 July.

Let’s accelerate women’s health together so we can build a bright future for women.

FemTech Lab

surgeon in a hospitsal, healthcare, health tech, sensor technology

Three ways sensor technology could create healthcare equality and save lives

surgeon in a hospitsal, healthcare, health tech, sensor technology

Article provided by Cecilia Harvey, CEO, Hyve Dynamics

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed serious gaps in our healthcare service, and severe inequalities in the both the treatment and wellbeing of different demographics.

Sensor technology can help to bridge these inequalities: by providing much more equal access to basic healthcare services, by protecting the public as a whole, and by helping stabilise our global economy as a consequence. 

One of the reasons why I feel so privileged to be the CEO of Hyve Dynamics, is being part of a company creating technology which leads to healthcare equality, and helps save lives. Our patented sensor skin technology improves the precision of biometric health data - data which is wirelessly collected in real time. 

Imagine a world where there is:

  • Equal access to high quality healthcare services regardless of socio-economic status and geographic location

  • Quick deployment of mobile hospitals to service impoverished communities around the globe

  • Minimal healthcare capacity constraints for an aging population

  • Proactive treatment of mental and emotional health issues that can improve the quality of life for millions

Pandemic Recovery: A New Normal

As we tentatively enter the recovery phase of this global pandemic, sensor technology is a strategic enabler to help get employees back to work, students back in school, and consumers back to stores. Health and safety is the utmost priority in this process. Hyve Dynamic’s sensor technology allows for the proactive identification of many of the key symptoms and markers related to Coronavirus. These include, temperature, heart rate, respiration, blood oxygen levels, and stress and anxiety indicators, amongst others. 

These types of sensors are proving critical to both the testing and the treatment process. Through wireless delivery and remote monitoring capabilities, the ability to proactively alert and monitor in near real-time conditions when individuals start to exhibit symptoms will be critical for containing Covid-19 or any other severe, contagious pandemics. This type of proactive, real-time acquisition of critical health data is absolutely vital to save lives and contain future pandemics: events which our globalised economy is ever-more vulnerable to, and which both stimulate mass panic and can utterly overwhelm emergency services.

Healthcare: Improved Service and Lower Costs

For healthcare, sensor technology is a key component of improving quality, reducing costs, and providing more equal access to essential services. By improving remote monitoring and telemedicine capabilities, sensor technology could in turn significantly reduce ever-lengthening patient wait times.  This becomes more important with each passing year, as our aging population places ever more pressure on our already strained healthcare institutions.

Global Healthcare: Equal Access, Shared Resources

Remote health monitoring removes barriers to critical information access, and allows for the pooling and sharing of healthcare resources between developed and developing nations. For example, sensor technology can allow for individuals in the global south to receive remote medical monitoring from physicians, health and medical professionals from around the world. Furthermore, sensor technology can allow for the rapid deployment of mobile hospitals globally to support healthcare needs.

In all these respects, we imagine a world “Powered by Hyve”: one where, through our innovation and delivery, we are elevating societies, business and the lives of individuals through sensor technology.

Cecilia Harvey - CEO of Hyve Dynamics (1)About the author

Cecilia Harvey is the Chief Executive Officer of Hyve Dynamics. With over 20 years experience in finance and technology. Cecilia is an advocate for responsible technology leadership that seeks to inspire, elevate and disrupt global businesses and communities.

Graduating from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Cecilia was soon captivated by the energy of Wall Street and the lure of a career in banking. After working her way up in the banking industry, her roles have since included being the COO of Citigroup Markets and Securities Services Technology, and positions with Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and IBM.

Cecilia’s recent achievements include being featured in Forbes Magazine in 2019 as a leading lady in technology, a 2018 WeAreTechWomen TechWomen100 winner. Cecilia is also the founder and chair of Tech Women Today, a professional organisation focused on connecting and advancing women across various areas of technology.

The 2020 TechWomen100 Awards are noq open for nominations. Our awards focus solely on women working in tech below director level. We hope that by highlighting the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent, we can help to create a new generation of female role models for the industry, and a pipeline of future leaders.

Inspirational Woman: Bonnie Roupé | Founder & CEO, Bonzun

Bonnie Roupé

Bonnie Roupé is the CEO and Founder of Bonzun, the Stockholm-based company that creates tools designed to support women and their families during pregnancy.

Its first product, Bonzun Pregnancy, acts as the world’s first virtual midwife and provides pregnant women and parents-to-be with scientifically accurate medical information, guiding them through their pregnancy. To date, Bonzun Pregnancy has helped over 2 million users across the UK and Sweden, as well as millions of others with its affiliate app, Kexuema, in China.

It was personal experience that led Bonnie to found Bonzun. When she was pregnant with her second child, Bonnie experienced a number of complications, but was unable to identify if these were normal in the course of pregnancy or a cause for concern, on her own. These complications almost killed Bonnie; however, she had no idea that she was close to dying until she became critically unwell. She found it surprising that in this digital age, there wasn’t a tool available to help her identify her symptoms without having to consult a doctor or medical professional.

While researching the resources available to pregnant women, Bonnie was shocked to see the high numbers of women still dying from preventable causes, with the 2018 World Health Organization report supporting this, and finding that an estimated 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every day. The same report states that the majority of maternal deaths are preventable, as health-care solutions for preventing or managing complications are well known, and that a lack of information is one of the main causes that prevents women from receiving the care that they need. With the United Nations aiming to provide universal internet access by 2020, Bonnie thought that it was natural that a solution addressing something as preventable as maternal mortality should be digital, which is how Bonzun was born.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

My name is Bonnie Roupé and I’m the CEO and Founder of Bonzun, a Stockholm-based company that creates tools designed to support women and their families before and during pregnancy. Currently we offer Bonzun Pregnancy, an app which supports women during their pregnancy, and Bonzun IVF, software which assists women undergoing IVF treatment. I was born and raised in Sweden and have worked in the internet and mobile industries for over 20 years. Prior to founding Bonzun, I built a sports & health magazine to 20 per cent market share, exiting after four years to start Bonzun.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

I was always interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, and was passionate about creating companies that would fill a niche. For example, in 2005 I founded Red Tee, Sweden’s first golf magazine aimed specifically at women, and in 2012, I founded Bonzun.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I developed pre-eclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition that endangered both me and my unborn child. At the time, I didn’t know the danger we were in as I didn’t know the symptoms I should be looking out for, let alone the words I should be using to look up my symptoms online.

The experience made me realise that there was no resource out there for accessing credible and accurate information around pregnancy. You had to go to the hospital first just to find out if you needed to be there or not. It all seemed very archaic, having to turn to a doctor every time there was a concern. I started to think that it would be useful for pregnant women to have all the information they need at the palm of their hand instead and that, in this digital age, it would be possible for me to build one myself. I could see very clearly how the software would work and I realised that if I didn’t build it, then maybe no one else would.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

There have been many challenges. At the beginning, I didn’t realise the amount of stamina and capital that is needed when you develop a completely new market. There is nothing to compare yourself to and so it is not good enough to simply build a great product. It also requires a lot of time and energy to explain your vision and prove the validity of your idea, and why the world needs it and as a founder, time is a very scarce commodity.

With Bonzun, we were fortunate to be able to make use of the wealth of data available in order to illustrate how big of an issue maternal death is, and how much of it is due to the downplaying of symptoms, or a lack of accurate information available to women. The difficulty for us, however, was in explaining to the global health industry how women could potentially access vital information and benefit from digital solutions, in addition to the care already provided by doctors. You have to remember that when I started Bonzun, the term healthtech was unheard of, the smartphone was new, and people had only just started to realise that mobile gaming could become huge. The idea that you could potentially build life-changing mobile apps that could function as a healthcare solution was beyond most people’s imagination.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

One of my biggest career achievements to date has definitely been seeing Bonzun Pregnancy develop from an idea into a company that has so far helped over two million women around the world with their pregnancy. The statistics around maternal mortality are truly heartbreaking - the 2018 World Health Organization report found that an estimated 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every day. Knowing that we are working towards reducing this number and increasing awareness of life-threatening complications of pregnancy is hugely rewarding.

I am also incredibly proud of our newest innovation, Bonzun IVF. Currently, the tool is white labelled and sold directly to clinics in Sweden, Norway and Hong Kong; however, we are looking to expand even further in the coming months. It is an exciting time, because currently there is no other solution out there with the same functions.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I think the main factor for my achieving success was the fact that I always had absolute trust in myself and in my vision. I knew that a tool like Bonzun was needed and that it would help women around the world, so it wasn’t a matter of choice - I had to create it! This absolute faith in my idea has led to everything else - building a team that shared my vision, securing funding and growing and developing our products. Determination, and the belief that what we were creating was not only useful, but necessary, is what got Bonzun to where it is today.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

I would say firstly, believe in yourself - you wouldn’t have an idea in your head if you didn’t have the power to follow through. I would also urge anyone looking towards a career in technology to speak to others working in the field and never hesitate to ask for advice - I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for the mentors who helped me along the way. I truly believe that we, as businesspeople, need to invest in others, too. I try and meet with one aspiring entrepreneur a week, as I believe it is our responsibility as experienced founders to share our knowledge and encourage others to realise their vision.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I do think there are still barriers for women working in tech, and the only way to overcome this is by recognising bias - that's the most important starting point. When you put on a gender lens, you can more actively see even the unconscious biases at play - and do something about them.

I believe that this is a shared societal issue, though, and both men and women are at fault. We have societal norms that steer us. Old habits and comfortable categorisation that makes life easier, so and so we have to make sure we are going through regular checks and balances to identify where we have gaps and how to address them. That includes power dynamics in the boardroom right down to how staff are treated and how women and girls are portrayed in marketing material.

What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

In order to support the career progress of anyone working in tech, or any other industry for that matter, companies need to see people beyond their gender, looking at their skill set, experience and what they are bringing to the business as a whole. I believe that this approach will foster talent, provide equal opportunities and help businesses to flourish.

There is currently on 17 per cent of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

I would make sure that the 17 per cent of women who are already in tech get more exposure in general media to inspire young women to pursue a career in tech.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, eg podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

I like Reid Hoffman's podcast, Masters of Scale and would recommend the episode with Sallie Krawcheck called “Check your blind spot”. It’s not really about tech, but it’s inspiring and shows the risk that comes with lack of diversity, as well as highlighting opportunities for women who might feel like outsiders, as well as how we can develop a perspective that could bring high value to the table. On the readlist, I would say, ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg and ‘Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office’ by Lois P Frankel. And my current favourite, ‘Blitzscaling’ by Chris Yeh and Reid Hoffman.

Lea von Bidder featured

Inspirational Woman: Lea von Bidder | Co-Founder & CEO, Ava

Lea von Bidder

Lea von Bidder is Co-Founder; VP Marketing and President of Ava Science Inc.

The idea for the Ava bracelet came from Pascal Koenig, Philipp Tholen, Peter Stein and I (Lea) around five years ago when we were confronted with our own reproductive choices in the modern world. We almost immediately started consulting with several gynaecologists from around the world, mainly in Europe and the US, asking what is important for women’s reproductive health needs. When Pascal, Philipp, Peter and I founded Ava in 2014, it was with the mission to advance women’s reproductive health by bringing together artificial intelligence and clinical research. And I’m proud to share that we’ve just achieved a major milestone: Our clinical research has just been made public in a scientific paper published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research. The paper demonstrates that five physiological signals change throughout the menstrual cycle, and that by tracking these signals, we can identify the fertile window of a woman’s cycle in real time. Our flagship product, the Ava fertility tracker, is the only fertility-tracking method available that measures all five of these signs.

We have around 120 employees worldwide distributed among Zurich, San Francisco, Belgrade, Makati and Hong Kong. Around 80 of these sit in our Headquarters in Zurich and work in various departments such as Clinical Team, Data Science Team, Product Team, Marketing as well as Customer Success.

We are proud to count over 20,000 pregnancies worldwide and 50 new pregnancies a day among our users

The tracking of a woman's cycle, fertility, and pregnancy is just the start of many exciting possibilities. Ava continues to conduct clinical studies to improve its accuracy and increase its capabilities. Ava and the University Hospital of Zurich are conducting a new large cohort study with several sub-studies that will address topics such as irregular cycles and pregnancy complications. We are also working with several thought leaders to conduct studies in assisted reproduction and gestational hypertensive populations.

Our vision of wanting to be a long-term companion for women, providing data-driven and scientifically proven insights along all stages of their reproductive lives, as well as our mission, wanting to advance women’s reproductive health by bringing together artificial intelligence and clinical research, are our biggest drivers.

Please also have a look and feel free to use parts of my most recent opinion piece covering the topic of women’s health.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I have a master's degree in global entrepreneurship from EM Lyon in France, Zhejiang University in China and Purdue Krannert University in the US. I completed my bachelor's degree at the University of St. Gallen and at HEC Montreal in Canada. During my studies, I worked in the Marketing Department of Procter & Gamble in Frankfurt and for a strategy consulting firm in Paris. I am also a co-founder of L’Inouï, a company that produces and distributes high-quality chocolate in Bangalore, India.

We founded Ava in Switzerland in 2014 and a year later I moved to San Francisco to open Ava’s US office as VP Marketing & President.

Commercial Photographer, Advertising Photographer, Lifestyle Photographer, Fashion Photographer, San Francisco, San Francisco California
Commercial Photographer, Advertising Photographer, Lifestyle Photographer, Fashion Photographer, Travel Photographer, Fitness Photographer, Video Director, San Francisco, San Francisco California, California, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, James Bueti Photography, Lifestyle, Fashion, James Bueti

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No never, but what I always knew was that I wanted to have an impact on important topics such as women’s rights, representation and health.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

Founding your own start-up comes at a price and it’s inevitable that you work on something you’re passionate about and that you have a great team around you – always hire people that are smarter than yourself!

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I will move into my new role as CEO of Ava in January 2020 and am very excited about this new challenge. You can find the press release in regards to this move here:

Also, have a look at this latest CNN Executive Talk to learn more about myself 😊

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Having a great co-founders team by my side who are all experts in different fields such as Data Science, Operations, General Management and Marketing, and we therefore complement each other very well. Also, being open to new challenges and ideas - just because you have chosen a path at some point, doesn’t mean you need to follow exactly that for the rest of your life. Things change and so should you.

I must also add – the support from family, friends and my husband.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome? What do you think companies can do to support to progress the careers of women working in technology?

I believe the root cause of this starts when we are children. We need to stop thinking so gender biased and teaching this to our children. General sayings like, girls are better at languages, boys are better at maths etc, need to be revised so that we give our kids the opportunity to choose their own path even though it might not fit into our society.

Also, I don’t think that its only tech missing out on vital female input, it’s the same in many industries. We need to get much better with public childcare opportunities, maternity/paternity regulations, flexible working hours, also men being encouraged to work part-time, etc. The environment and circumstances we are still stuck in do not give us the possibility to thrive fully just yet.

Have a look at this LinkedIn post that touches nicely on the gender gap in Switzerland.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, e.g. Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

Get yourself a wolf-pack, everything is so much better and easier when fighting something together.

Make sure you attend as many conferences relevant to your industry as possible to network and put your name out there. My favourite conferences are: