A joint program between EPFL Innovation Park and Groupe Mutuel
Call for Application 2022 Opening soon!
Next Roadshow November 17th
Program Duration 9 months
June 21, 2022

Empowering and supporting Femtech innovators

This blog was produced in collaboration with Jérôme Michaud who is the Head of Initiative Operations Healthcare at Procter & Gamble and who is providing mentorship to Tech4Eva start-ups.

About Procter & Gamble (P&G)

Procter & Gamble Co (P&G) is a manufacturer and distributor of consumer, personal care and cleaning products. The company has operations around the world and its headquarters in the United States.

P&G wants to improve the lives of the world’s consumers and is committed to provide branded products and services of high quality. They inspire to make positive contributions every day and for the generations to come so it is important for them to adapt to new consumers habits and needs. In that respect P&G has developed a series of programs that foster disruptive innovation and enable effective collaboration with start-ups.

P&G Ventures (https://pgventuresstudio.com) and the global P&G Start-up Innovation Outpost are two examples. Specifically in Switzerland they have established a dedicated and multifunctional team to engage with local partners and give start-ups the opportunity to pilot innovative technologies and solutions with P&G.

FemTech Landscape

Jérôme describes FemTech as a rather ‘young’ industry with many untapped opportunities and strongly believes it will boom over the next decade; local and regional health care politics and discussions about diversity and inclusion will highly influence growth dynamics. He feels the mission of this industry goes much beyond providing solutions to women health’s challenges, it exists to break taboos and step change the role of women in our society. And that’s the primary reason why Jérôme is committed to support the Tech4Eva program!

Mentoring at Tech4Eva

Jerôme joined a few focus group sessions last year (during the 1st edition of Tech4Eva) and he has been amazed by the quality of minds, the energy and passion that all stakeholders demonstrated. More than anything else he wants to support the mission of the program and help bring more impactful, and faster innovation to the market so that the life of millions of women can be improved. While waiting for the 2nd edition of the program he decided to continue mentoring/coaching some FemTech start-ups, in particular PhenomXHealth. He supported Dr. Colleen Fogarty Draper, PhenomX Health CEO, with the definition of the business model, strategy and preparation of a 6 months sprint that would bring the start-up to pre-seed funding readiness level. According to Dr. Draper: « Jerôme has made essential contributions to our consumer model and business planning, both supporting our knowledge gaps and paying close attention to our detailed needs. I am so grateful to have Jerome as a coach for myself and our team and feel strongly we could not have made our fantastic progress without this tireless guidance. »

To conclude, offering his experiences and skills as a mentor was an obvious step and he is very glad to be part of the Tech4Eva 2022 cohort!

Collaborating with Corporates

For Jérôme, the best advice to reach a successful partnership with a corporate is to “Define clearly what you want to get out of the collaboration and how you envision success, this before you initiate any discussion. Be time based when doing so, ideally specifying what you consider important milestones. Why? Because as a start-up you work against very different constraints (critical cash flow …) and risk not been in sync with the timeline of the corporate.”

For him, it is of crucial importance to think about the opportunity costs (other alternatives to grow your business), thus everyone must have a way to know that the collaboration is on the right path and progressing at the right speed.

Jérôme comments on why he joined Tech4Eva program: “I want to empower and support Femtech innovators so that they can bring their ideas to market faster, maximize the value of their innovation and prepare their venture for a sustainable and profitable growth. And more importantly I want to help them raising awareness on women related health concerns and enhance gender equity.”