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Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

It’s no secret that women’s healthcare has undergone an astounding transformation in just a short time frame. Over the last decade, “femtech” — broadly defined as technologies and services that address women’s health — has shifted from a largely neglected sector to one that has garnered significant momentum among both entrepreneurs and investors. According to Pitchbook, VC funding to femtech startups has grown by nearly 10x since 2012, and Frost & Sullivan estimate that the sector has a market potential of $50B by 2025.

That being said, femtech remains underfunded, representing just 3.3% of total digital health funding in 2019, and 1.5% in the first half of 2020. Part of the problem stems from the relative lack of data about women’s healthcare issues. Until 1993, American women were excluded from clinical trials, and just 4% of all healthcare research dollars today are dedicated toward women’s health issues. …


Despite recent growth in women’s healthcare, the femtech sector remains largely underfunded. As covered in my initial post, femtech accounts for just 3% of total digital healthcare deals since 2011, and total funding to the sector has actually declined since peaking in 2018.

Encouragingly, across MBA campuses, women’s healthcare is gaining momentum. Since 2018, Dorm Room Fund, First Round Capital’s student venture fund, has backed three femtech companies, representing 25% of the fund’s investments in healthtech. …


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Over the last several years, entrepreneurship has exploded on business school campuses, with more and more institutions launching startup accelerators, student-led venture capital funds, and founder-oriented courses.

Yet, women remain significantly underrepresented in the world of MBA startups and venture capital funding. While women account for nearly 40% of full-time MBA students, they comprise less than 20% of entrepreneurs at leading programs such as Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton, which consistently have the highest number of founders.

The statistics aren’t any better for women overall. Although women are increasingly launching their own businesses — outpacing the national average by more than 2x — just 3% of venture capital dollars are invested in startups led by a female CEO, and women of color in particular receive just 0.2% …

About

Joanna Lichter Cohen

MBA @MITSloan, Associate @foundercollective, Fellow at @PearVC. Formerly @ridewithvia. Proud @dukeuniversity grad. linkedin.com/in/joannalichter/

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