Future of Femtech and insights into working with corporates
Susan Herbert, who is the Global Head of Strategic Excellence at Merck has been supporting Tech4Eva’s start-ups since its inception in 2021. She has overall accountability for Global Strategy Development and the Strategy Realisation Office of Merck’s Healthcare Business. Sue has extensive leadership experience across a variety of roles in Pharma Manufacturing, R&D and Portfolio Development. During her career she has led teams responsible for strategic business insights and forecasting, strategy development, program and product development, and most recently, she served as the Head of Global Business Development and Alliance Management within the Biopharma business of Merck.
This energetic senior executive took the time to answer our questions about her collaboration, motives and opinions about the support of Tech4Eva.
One of the questions we asked Sue was her advice advice to startups on how to collaborate with corporates. One thing that she stressed was the importance of doing research before you approach them. Corporates receive a high number of requests each year, be as specific as possible about your plans. Enterprise ready start-ups will need to be viable and sustainable businesses, be prepared to demonstrate why this is the case and why your innovation should matter to them, the support that you want, and know why you are asking that corporate ahead of others. Her advice was when approaching these “800 pound gorillas” was be prepared to be persistent. If they have displayed some interest when they have reverted to you don’t accept a simple “No interest” as the answer. Solicit their advice and request their input and feedback as to what would you need to show / deliver for them to have interest in what you bring to the table and then share you timetable and get back to them.
Importance & Evolution of Femtech
For this Head of Strategic Excellence, it is sure that Femtech will evolve in the coming years. The importance in investing in women’s health in the next decade is becoming more prominent, describes Susan. People realize now that empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps in the work environment are both key to achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development - when more women work economies grow. This can only be achieved if women are able to remain healthy and active over their full working lives. This is already spurring much more interest and tangible commitments investing in opportunities that promote and provide solutions to women’s health and wellbeing. Susan explains her point of view by saying that as these mature and become accessible to women consumers and patient’s society will see the fruits of these investments in the lives of women and girls around the world.
Susan said: “We all have a responsibility to do better. I have been privileged to have many opportunities in life. Any small assistance I can give leveraging 30+ years of working in the women’s health space for the next generation of entrepreneurs!” According to Susan this is the best way as together, society helps and improves women’s health so women – and by extension their families – can join, thrive, rise in their communities and live better lives. This is why she decided to support the important contribution Tech4Eva is making in this space."