A mission is about convening. It is an opportunity to gather in a room and hold a robust exchange of ideas and perspectives. It is about finding and assembling local stakeholders in order to understand where their thinking is and what traction they’ve been able to develop around a particular set of challenges or opportunities. Convening is about intentionally making space to be inspired, to measure the gap, to learn, and to teach. It's a forum to meet the players, the trailblazers, and leaders in a field. In the best sense, it shows the path for ongoing collaboration between our respective communities. So on this mission, we knew we needed to convene around FemTech.
If you’re new to the term, you’re not late. You may even be early. Israel is a hotbed of activity in this new and fast-growing segment. McKinsey just published a report where they said the following about FemTech:
“FemTech provides a wide range of solutions to improve healthcare for women across a number of female-specific conditions, including maternal health, menstrual health, pelvic and sexual health, fertility, menopause, and contraception, as well as a number of general health conditions that affect women disproportionately or differently (such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease). While it’s still early days, our research indicates that the dynamics underlying FemTech are accelerating: public awareness, company formation, and funding are surging”
We decided to try a small gathering that was named FemTech Forward. We posted once on a Facebook interest group before we even embarked on the mission. By the time we arrived in Israel, it had become a big deal and about 65 women entrepreneurs (and also some men) responded, and a dozen companies were selected to make presentations.
How did we get here? How did we know? Well, one tempting answer is that the PICC by the nature of its independence and diverse and broad membership is hyper-aware of new areas for growth. Our membership simply tells us and we listen. FemTech is a case in point. During the last mission trip before Covid, back in 2019, our then-new member and now Executive Vice President, Tiffany Starr McKever, was approached by dozens of women entrepreneurs seeking advice on strategics, investment, and about entering the US market for FemTech companies. Tiffany is a population health expert with deep expertise in consulting and researching determinants of health outcomes for women and underserved populations. Tiffany made a plan to return the following year but Covid changed everything. On this mission, then, we knew that FemTech was going to be an area of interest and focus. We wanted to restart the conversation.
During FemTech Forward, we heard presentations from companies such as: Ocon Healthcare,FemTechIL, Gyntools, Embie, Carmel Diagnostics, GinaLife, Escala Medical, Aquafit Intimate, FemSelect, IceCure , Gynica. These companies range from clinical health to medical devices, nutraceuticals, digital health, and more. Demand is huge and investors are starting to kick the tires. More investment is needed and we’re quite sure it will flow more freely once large exits cause valuations to dramatically rise.
There are already a growing number of platforms and conferences for FemTech worldwide, and at the PICC we believe that our region can assume early leadership. That’s why we intend to give FemTech plenty of attention during 2023, and we need your help. We’re looking for companies, success stories, thought leadership, panelists, and investors. Consider adding to the conversation. Please get in touch.