There are a lot of good things happening in the femtech sector right now. To date most of the advancements and innovation in the femtech sector have involved IVF which only impacts a small percentage of the population. We are now starting to see a lot more innovation and research around the preconception phase — getting your body ready for pregnancy.
In today’s episode of Inspiring women entrepreneurs, we introduce Jodi Neuhauser, who is the CEO and co-founder of OVATERRA which is a women-led leading lifestyle reproductive health enterprise providing doctors, patients and their partners with access to research, quality products and personalized services to make the most of their reproductive lives.
In addition to patented fertility supplements, the company is currently building the first intelligent marketplace dedicated to women and men’s fertility. Ovaterra provides clinically-informed guidance you wish your doctor had time to give you. It’s science, delivered simply with a human touch.
Struggles with fertility
Statistics show that only about 3% of people who need assisted reproductive care have access to a fertility clinic or use a fertility facility. To date, most of the innovation in this sector has been around IVF which only a small percentage of people have access to due to costs and social acceptance. Most of the innovation has been in storage technology, grading technology and using AI to select protocols and embryos. We are now starting to see research and start-ups coming in what we call the preconception phase — getting your body ready for pregnancy.
We also know that up to 30% of fertility is unexplained fertility. Doctors know that 90% of couples who go through fertility treatment experience anxiety, and about 60% of couples, one person in the couple, experience one psychotic symptom. We are also starting to see companies’ pop-up that focus on clinically-based treatment around fertility mental health.
Ovaterra was developed mainly for men and women between the ages 30-45 who are planning to conceive, trying to conceive, or undergoing fertility treatment. Their expertise is in women with low ovarian reserve and men with decreased sperm quality. They additionally collaborate with forward-thinking fertility specialists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, OBGYns, nutritionists, and health coaches.
18 years of research, clinical backing and 10 patents have helped open the doors to the amazing partners who have joined us in our marketplace journey early on.
“I am grateful for these partners who have believed in us from day 1 and have been an important part of our journey so far.” Jodi stated
What is OVATERRA’S “Big Idea” ?
We believe that knowledge is power. We want to be the brand for everyone preparing for pregnancy. We want to empower people to use their pregnancy journey as a way to learn more about their bodies and their environment in order to make healthier lifestyle choices for the rest of their lives. I had so many ah-ha moments and learned so much about my body and myself as a person during my fertility journey, which already influences how I behave, well beyond pregnancy. I want to bring that awareness and education to others.
There are also some amazing innovations going on in the employer space. Not everybody has access to fertility care through their employer, but that is our fastest path to coverage. If we can get more employers to cover fertility benefits faster and at a deeper level, then we can provide more care to people. Companies like Carrot, Progeny and Kindbody are tapping into that space.
Advice for Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs
As women, we make 80% of the healthcare decisions for our families.We are our family’s Chief Medical Officer. We also have our own experiences with the often-broken healthcare system. I’d encourage any woman in particular to use those personal experiences as passion to fuel innovation and growth by creating businesses we don’t even know need to exist yet. There are so many problems to fix in women’s health – please come join our tribe of other female entrepreneurs who are all working to improve this space for our daughters and future generations.
“Don’t be afraid to speak your truth, tell your story and let it light your fire and push you forward.”
Knowledge is power. It is the foundation of Ovaterra and drives everything I do. The more we know about our customers, the more value we can provide to them. The more our employees know about themselves, the more value we can create for them and they can create for themselves. The more our clinician partners know about the latest research, the more value they can bring to the patient experience. The more customers know about their bodies and their fertility journey, the more successful they will be naturally.
Keep learning. Take a job for the educational opportunity and move on when you stop learning. But, also keep learning about yourself. Surround yourself with a support team (therapists, coaches, friends, fellow founders) that challenge you, push you and force you to sometimes uncomfortable places to dig in and get closer to who you are at your core. Then, lead from that authentic place. It’s only through self-awareness that you can know enough about yourself as a leader to lead others and a successful business.
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Where there is a will, there is a way.