A joint program between EPFL Innovation Park and Groupe Mutuel
Call for Application 2022 Opening soon!
Next Roadshow November 17th
Program Duration 9 months
September 13, 2023

Breaking Taboos and Advancing Women's Health in Tel Aviv's Thriving Femtech Ecosystem

This year’s hybrid Tel Aviv Roadshow gathered both the local Israeli Femtech ecosystem of innovators, corporates, and investors along with the global Tech4Eva community. The 2023 Tech4Eva cohort was showcased to potential partners and investors. Are you interested in investing in women’s health solutions or partnering, see more info here.

In the vibrant landscape of Tel Aviv's Femtech industry, two significant themes took center stage: menopause and the power of partnerships. These enlightening discussions not only provided valuable insights but also underscored the urgent need for innovation, support, and empowerment.

Empowering Women Through Menopause

Hormone therapy (HT), also known as menopausal hormone therapy, was first marketed to aging women in the 1940s. We embarked on a slow journey into the realm of menopause care innovation. The world is slowly understanding the need for better solutions for women who spend one-third of their lives in this stage of life. More research is being done to tailor menopause care plans to individual needs and preferences. The understanding of long-term biological changes resulting from declining estrogen and progesterone levels has led to more holistic approaches in addressing menopausal challenges.

Menopause, a topic often shrouded in silence, emerged as a focal point during the panel discussion. Dr. Noa Hovav, a Specialist in Menopause, emphasized that menopause is a natural life phase and not a medical condition. The key lies in equipping women with the right resources, education, and technological solutions to navigate this transformative journey with confidence and ease.

There are more than 40 types of symptoms in menopause. Why should we treat women in a more holistic approach? Dr. Sigal Shaklai, Senior Endocrinologist & Head of Menopause Clinic, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center & Head of Diabetes Institute, Maccabi emphasized:

"Menopause is not a disease, but a stage in the women’s health life. It has many symptoms because of hormone fluctuation! It’s a journey to understand each women’s medical scenario and only then can we plan her treatment.” Dr. Sigal Shaklai

Gila Tolub, formerly a Partner at McKinsey & Company, now advisor to start-ups, shed light on the entrepreneurial opportunities surrounding menopause. She highlighted that this phase can be an incredible period for women entrepreneurs. The unique challenges and experiences faced during menopause can serve as a powerful driving force for addressing critical issues, especially within the Femtech realm. The workplace is also playing a huge role in menopause awareness. More and more companies are starting to provide programs to menopausal women to make their time at work easier.

"And I think it's an incredible time to be an entrepreneur when you're menopausal because you're already under so much pressure from other things that you just add a little more and you get to speak nicely with investors who still don't believe that 50% of the population has vaginas." – Rebecca Sternberg, CEO & Co-Founder, Aquafit.

Empowering Partnerships for Femtech Innovation

Given the speed of innovation in the health sector, collaboration between large companies, start-ups and academia is key to develop and launch new products and solutions. From this panel, we gained valuable insights into the intersection of law, innovation, pharmaceuticals, and start-up leadership, and learned what it takes to forge successful partnerships to drive change and impact in the field of women's health.

Inbar Gorelick, an Associate Attorney at Barnea, emphasized the significance of collaboration in this rapidly evolving industry. She explored how partnerships are forged within the Femtech start-up ecosystem as well as with external organizations and entities.

Empowering Women Through Education

Liat Alon, Head of Patient Engagement & Communication at Novartis Israel and impact.51, encouraged women not to shy away from discussions about menopause. She stressed that seeking knowledge and engaging in open conversations about women's health is essential. Education, she noted, is a powerful tool in breaking down barriers and dispelling myths.

Redefining Menopause Care and Femtech Innovation

The fusion of these two panel discussions highlighted a fundamental truth: Femtech is revolutionizing women's health, and menopause is an integral part of this transformation. With technology-driven solutions, women can access tailored information, support networks, and medical resources to meet their unique needs during the menopausal transition.

Partnerships, both within the Femtech start-up ecosystem and with established organizations, play a pivotal role in bringing these innovations to life. Experts, like Gila Tolub, are harnessing their menopausal years as a driving force behind Femtech innovation.

Conclusion: A Holistic Transformation of Women's Health

In Tel Aviv's thriving Femtech landscape, women's health is undergoing a profound transformation. Menopause is no longer a silenced topic but a catalyst for change. The panel discussions revealed a shared commitment to empower women, challenge the stigma surrounding menopause, and provide innovative solutions to enhance women's health and wellbeing during this life stage.

Through strategic partnerships and collaboration, Tel Aviv's Femtech industry is poised to usher in a new era of women's health, where technology and empathy go hand in hand. Together, they are dismantling taboos, driving innovation, and forging a brighter future for women worldwide.

To watch the full video of these inspiring discussions, visit our YouTube channel here. Be part of the Femtech revolution today and join the conversation!