Archive for the ‘NEOME’ Category

FemTech Opportunities and Challenges

November 25, 2019


FountainBlue produced an educational and thought-provoking FemTech Opportunities and Challenges program, in partnership with NEOME and hosted by Fenwick and West.

Thank you to our panelists, our presenting entrepreneurs, our hosts, our volunteers, and our attendees for their supporting in creating a powerhouse event, which covered everything from the market opportunity to the stories-from-the-trenches, from the funding details to the presenting companies with practical offerings in the market today. Below are some notes from the conversation.

It takes a village to put together such a powerhouse event, which covered everything from the market opportunity to the stories-from-the-trenches, from the funding details to the presenting companies with practical offerings in the market today.

Our attendees consistently remarked on the exceptional educational and practical value of the program, as well as the exceptional opportunity to meet each other and each of you. They each are thinking differently about the femtech opportunity and where they would each fit as entrepreneurs, as customers, as advocates, as professionals, as investors.

Below are some notes for your review and approval. Any comments are welcome.

We were fortunate to have such seasoned Femtech professionals on the panel, each speaking so authentically about the challenges they faced and the opportunities ahead around Femtech. 

We launched the program by defining the femtech market and the opportunities and challenges ahead. Our panelists consistently remarked on the collaboration which take place around femtech investment, and also exclaimed on the great need in the market, plus the innovations available to address the needs of female patients. 

We have obviously come far from the days decades ago when we knew so little about the female physiology, structure, biology – treating women like mini-men. But we have much farther to go to understand how to design and implement solutions which fully support the many opportunities around femtech.

Our panel agreed that many steps need to be taken to increase the number of start-ups and solutions.

  1. We need to increase the pipeline of men and women interested in learning the science and the technology and persistent enough to create solutions.
  2. We need to fund research around the many facets of femtech, prioritizing areas where there’s the greatest need, so that you can serve more people, and increase the likelihood of having a viable company.
  3. We need to translate the research into practical applications which can go to market, in a way which is practical, sustainable, affordable.
  4. We need to build companies and market these solutions – prove that there’s a market that’s willing to pay the price to sustain the company.
  5. We need to finance the companies which have proven there’s a viable and expanding market for the offering.
  6. Companies which are receiving funding need to execute on their plan and scale the operations which bring in the margins expected by investors, while also delivering the value demanded by their customers.
  7. Once the company is scaling and profitable and growing, and when it makes sense, successful exits will help bring further interest, further energy, further funding into the Femtech market.

Any of the steps above invite further collaboration. Any of our panelists and their organizations and peers would help leaders and companies and investors better contribute to femtech solutions at all levels.

We each applauded our presenting entrepreneurs offered us glimpses into the wide breadth of opportunities around FemTech. Please approach them directly for further information about how you can support their company as an investor, as an ambassador, as a contributor. 

The bottom line is that there’s an ecosystem of players, and we ALL need to support and encourage, through education and mentoring, scientists, especially women, so they can 1) conduct the research 2) translate that research into patents, and then 3) further help them envision, create and execute those patents into fundable companies.

We hope that this event helped you better understand this emerging business opportunity, and that you become more interested in participating in this Sheconomy, focusing on Femtech solutions and opportunities – in collaboration with the full ecosystem, to deliver tangible and immediate results.


Thursday, November 21, 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Location: Fenwick and West, 600 Castro Street, Mountain View

FemTech Opportunities and Challenges

See invitation and bios by visiting

Feminine health issues around everything from fertility to menstruation, from reproductive health to sexual wellness have arisen over the centuries. But in this age of information, the solutions involve integrated software and devices solutions which provide diagnostic and even curative support for female patients. 

Our panel of activists and investors will profile the opportunities and challenges around FemTech and make predictions on what’s working now, what will work in the near future, plus advise us on how we can better collaborate to anticipate and address market needs.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Anula Jayasuriya, Founder and Managing Director, EXXclaim Capital
  • Panelist Dr. Mitzi Krockover, Managing Director and Co-Chair Health Sector Committee, Golden Seed
  • Panelist Nola E Masterson, Board Member, Professor, and Lead Investor in Portfolia FemTech Fund 
  • Panelist Einat Meisel, Partner, Head of Israel Practice, Fenwick & West
  • with Keynote created by Reenita Das, SVP Healthcare, Frost and Sullivan

To wrap up the panel discussion, we will also profile several emerging femtech entrepreneurs for three minute presentations with three minutes of Q&A. Presenting Entrepreneurs included: 

  • Robert A. Feldman PhD, President and CEO, Prime Genomics, Inc
  • Tracy MacNeal, President & CEO, Materna Medical 
  • Greta Meyer, co-founder and CEO, Tempo 
  • Claire Thomas, Founder and CEO, Tua Fertility  
  • Soody Tronson, Founder and CEO, Presque

Celebrating World-Changing Women

November 25, 2019


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Our November 22 program was on the topic of ‘Celebrate World-Changing Women’. We would like to thank our dynamic, world-changing panelists for sharing your inspiring and practical insights,, our gracious hosts at WeAct for their on-site support, the NEOME delegation for being an active partner this week, and to everyone who showed up and joined the conversation! Below are notes from the conversation.

We were fortunate to have a humble and accomplished group of world-changing women for our NEMOE World-Changers program. They came from a variety of backgrounds, but had much in common.

  • They are accomplished professionals and did many different things in their varied careers.
  • They are resilient competitors, proven professionals, and stalwart champions for excellence in the many ways it can be defined.
  • They are loyal friends, spouses, parents, mentors, and leaders, committed to giving back much more than they were gifted by those closest to them in formative years.

Below are some best practices on how to become a better world-changer.

  • Believe that you can do just as well as others, no matter how much someone else thinks that you can’t do something because of your gender, your background, your appearance, etc.,
  • Keep a positive and constructive outlook, even when the behavior of others makes that challenging.
  • Play your side of the net – manage your own perceptions, thoughts, words, actions, rather than trying to manage the thinking, speaking and actions of others, which is much more difficult.
  • Together we are better. Advocate for others. Make a stand for justice and the greater good.
  • Back the leaders who get the importance of diversity and inclusive, those who take action on making the workplace more diverse and inclusive.
  • Embrace the surprising and unexpected opportunities which present themselves, even when they make you feel uncomfortable.
  • When you’re feeling down and distraught, try a little perspective. Are you addressing a ‘first-world’ problem? Are there others with much more serious and severe issues which put your own problem into perspective?
  • Be your own activist, your own advocate.
  • Don’t just grovel and complain. Transcend your circumstances.

In this room, filled with such powerful, forward-thinking women, each so strong, so sincere, so collaborative, I felt like together we could rule the world, one conversation, one leader, one organization at a time.

Cradle to Greatness

November 25, 2019



FountainBlue produced its first event for the NEOME Israeli tech women angel delegation on Wednesday, Nov 20, entitled ‘Supporting Women from Cradle to Greatness’.

Our panelists were passionate and experienced professionals who have navigated both corporate and start-up roles and positions. They generously shared their stories, their challenges and their best practices on how to create and support a collaborative ecosystem within Silicon Valley and beyond.

They agreed on the challenges:

  • Increasing the pipeline of diverse, talented tech professionals;
  • Recruiting, retaining and developing our current talent pool;
  • Ensuring that conscious and unconscious biases don’t make the challenge of recruiting diverse talent even more difficult.

Our panelists further remarked on the policies, processes, and lack of leadership and follow-through which often making it more difficult to bring more women into tech positions and advancing to high ranks within organizations.

But none of our panelists would settle on pointing to challenges. They are women of action and recommended the following best practices:

  • Focus on adopting a can-do, positive mindset.
  • Support others as mentors and sponsors so that we can all be stronger.
  • Show girls as young as middle school that they too can succeed in math and science and STEM in general. Provide them practical and rewarding experience which help them gain confidence, and question their own perceptions about who they are and what they can do.
  • Encourage girls to keep reaching for stars.
  • Overcome the social and policy standards which make it more difficult for girls and women to succeed in STEM roles and in leadership roles.

Our presenting entrepreneurs showcased the connections across networks and organizations. The entrepreneurial women who presented showed the grit it takes to succeed in innovation and leadership, and highlighted how start-ups are addressing urgent, real-world issues, while also providing sustainable business and operational models.  

In the end, our panelists and our attendees agreed that the openness and collaboration create a ‘tribe-like’ community that’s uniquely Silicon Valley. With that said, this open, collaborative, entrepreneurial spirit can be replicated elsewhere, and that successes internationally can also include the energy, the funding, the connections of Silicon Valley.

Please join me in thanking our panelists and presenting entrepreneurs and our hosts at TechLAB.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue; Director, Vonzos Partners; Managing Director, TechLAB 
  • Panelist Gargi (Nalawade) Adhav, Leading next-gen initiatives at Google Cloud 
  • Panelist Serpil Bayraktar, Distinguished Engineer, Cisco; Global Chair for Women in Tech (WIT) @ Cisco 
  • Panelist Ronit Polak, VP Quality Assurance, Palo Alto Networks and co-founder and board chair, High Tech, High Heels 
  • Panelist Sara Rauchwerger, TechLAB Managing Director

featuring Presenting Entrepreneurs, 3 minute presentation, 3 minute Q&A 

  • Heather Potters, cofounder, PharmaJet 
  • Alexis Snelling, Founder and CEO, Life Cafe 
  • Chen Yahva-Levanon, CEO, MyKumbaya  

with welcoming remarks by Sara Rauchwerger, TechLAB Managing Director and opening remarks by Inbal Polak, Co-founder and CIO of NEOME Women Investing Club