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Women's Health Innovation & Femtech Forum Scotland: A Recap

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

It's been a couple of busy weeks at Goddess Gaia Ventures and last week our team was finally off to Edinburgh, where we got to spend time with stakeholders from across the healthcare innovation ecosystem at Women's Health Innovation & Femtech Forum, our first conference in Scotland.

During our time in Edinburgh we had the chance to connect with and learn from startups, investors, government organisations, universities, clinicians, patients, and advocacy groups. It's been truly inspiring to exchange ideas with so many others who share our vision and we are more determined than ever to continue our work and unlock better health for all through innovation.

To create lasting change in women's health we need a joint effort from across the ecosystem and Scotland seems to have the vision and dedication to evolve into a Global Center of Excellence over the coming years.

During our time in Scotland we hosted Women's Health Innovation & Femtech Forum Scotland, a 2-day conference dedicated to femtech and female-centred healthcare as well as a dinner, where local stakeholders eagerly discussed the Scottish Women's Health Plan and the Campbell Report, which set out the foundation to develop a single connected and collaborative cluster dedicated to health innovation and life sciences in Scotland.

At the conference we were fortunate to be joined by Maree Todd, Member of the Scottish Parliament and Minister of Public Health, Women's Health and Sport, who laid out her bold vision for women's health in Scotland. Entrepreneurs who were just getting started got to connect with those who made it to IPO while investors learned more about opportunities in the nascent femtech space. We explored how investing in women's health creates impact and how groundbreaking science can be commercialised, but also what governments and research institutions can do to support the ecosystem.

To introduce the afternoon session on Day 1, Goddess Gaia Ventures Founding General Partner Priya Oberoi took the stage to share her vision for our fund and why we are convinced now is the right time to build and invest in women's health. There is a global market opportunity in this underserved and underfunded vertical, that is primed for exponential growth, and driven by technological and business model innovation in both established and new product categories.

In case you missed it, you can catch up by watching the recording of her speech below.

During our time in Scotland we were excited to see how many other dedicated organisations and individuals passionately share our goals. The forum was only the start and we are now looking forward to continue our collaboration, grow, connect, and strengthen the local and international ecosystem. Right now we have an opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of millions of women, while creating financial and impact returns. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but trust that with the right partners we will succeed.

And talking about partners... Women's Health Innovation & Femtech Forum Scotland wouldn't have been possible without the generous support of our speakers, sponsors, collaborators and everyone who joined us either in person or online. We are especially grateful to Dr. Poonam Malik (University of Strathclyde) and Steve Harrison (Scottish Enterprise), who tirelessly supported us in this effort.

A big thank you to our sponsors from the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Fund, Alvarez & Marsal, NCM Fund Services, Addleshaw Goddard and our community partners the University of Strathclyde, Female Founder Squad, Adam Smith Panmure House, Codebase, Cambridge Femtech Society, Femtech Insider, and Well-Tech World Summit. And of course all our speakers: Maree Todd (MSP, Minister for Public Health, Women's Health and Sport), Angela Scott (TC BioPharm), Dr. Deborah O'Neill (NovaBiotics), Dr. Poonam Malik (University of Strathclyde), Dr. Pahini Pandya (Panakeia), Dr. Chen Mao Davies (LatchAid), Wendy Lamin (Holoxica), Angela Malik (Planet Nourish), Nathan McNally (Capital Enterprise), Katerina Sanchez-Schilling (Capital Enterprise), Samira Ann Qassim (Pink Salt Ventures), Saloni Bhojwani (Pink Salt Ventures), Anna Brown (Addleshaw & Goddard), Charlotte Walker (Alvarez & Marsal), H.E. Asila Al Samsamiva (Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion, Oman), Brandon Kortokrax (Prysm Institute), Ian Akash Morrison (Prysm Institute), Dominique Kagele (Prysm Institute), Joann MacMaster (Desert Angels), Dr. Jane van Dis (University of Rochester, Maven Clinic & Biorithm), Reenita Das (Frost & Sullivan), Dr. Caroline Barelle (Elasmogen), Ishani Malhotra (Carcinotech), Kate Cameron (Cytochroma UK), Dr. Claudia Freigang (Hearing Diagnostics), Dr. Eleanor Shaw OBE (University of Strathclyde, Carolyn Jameson (National Investment Bank Board), Lama Khaiyat (GGV), Beth Lauren (Well-Tech World Summit) & Kathrin Folkendt (Femtech Insider).

In case you couldn't make it to the conference this time around, we truly hope you will join us in Scotland next year when we get together again to reflect on the progress we've made and motivate each other to face the challenges ahead of us as we work towards our shared vision of better health for all.


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