Year after year, new benchmarks are set in the digital health investment market, which reached $11.1 billion in Q3 2018 – exceeding the Q3 2017 mark by almost $2 billion. However, the fact that just 2 percent of all venture capital investments go to female founders has remained steady since 2012. This statistic and the resultant call for action to affect change has been repeated each year with incremental improvements.
Thus, LeadHERs in Digital Health was developed by HealthVenture Capital. LeadHERs is a two-day pitch competition happening in Atlanta on November 30 and December 1 designed for select startups (co)founded and/or (co)led by women. It is intended to increase funding, knowledge, and resource sharing; and create a pipeline of women founded/led startups in digital health.
For Women, By a Woman
LeadHERs has been created not only for women, but by a woman: Donna Lecky, CFO of HealthVenture and Managing Director of HealthVenture Capital, has mentored, coached, and provided personalized training to 80+ startup companies in the last two years. Donna recently received the Excellence in Business Award at the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce 2018 Women’s Achievement Awards Luncheon in recognition of her deep commitment to supporting women in business.
“There is an immense global need to re-imagine healthcare innovation and build tech-focused healthcare communities,” Donna says. “While we support the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, women are highly underrepresented. This event is exciting as it seeks to bridge that gap as LeadHERs will showcase women in technology who are leaders and who are making a global impact.”
Day 1 will offer workshops that teach early- and seed-stage digital health startups critical lessons in support of sustainable company growth. Day 2 will feature a pitch competition that will give each startup the opportunity to make a seven-minute presentation, followed by a five-minute Q&A. Participants will be in front of key stakeholders like entrepreneurs, investors, academics and developers – all of whom are dedicated to digital solutions that address healthcare issues and related matters. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three startups.
Ultimately, the goal of LeadHERs is to support innovative women with a forum for networking and practical learning opportunities, to initiate cross-disciplinary business relationships that serve the needs of these innovators, and to expand the HealthVenture network and global footprint.
Apply today. Submissions are due November 16.
By Sharon Mwale, program manager at HealthVenture.