A new initiative aimed at stimulating the development of products, services and start-ups among femtech founders is being backed by the Health Innovation Hub Ireland, which is based in University College Cork.
The State-backed organisation is trying to stimulate the creation of an ecosystem of experts and entrepreneurs, leading to more women founders in Ireland and attracting more investors here.
The initiative will provide access to clinical, research and business expertise, through the Ireland South Women and Infants Directorate for clinical expertise, and UCC Innovation for research expertise. A team of advisers will be on hand to provide business and enterprise support.
“In the last couple of years we have noticed quite a few companies coming in with technologies that address women’s health,” said Dr Tanya Mulcahy, director of Health Innovation Hub Ireland.
“We can provide a lot of support, but there is a whole change worldwide in the femtech space. Women are now starting their own companies, which is brilliant to see. When you combine identifying healthcare needs with women wanting to start their own companies, there’s a whole explosion of femtech worldwide.”
The organisation is calling on people to join the femtech network, with an official gathering planned for September.
“We want to bring the right groups of people together: people interested in starting their own companies, women who have problems they want to see addressed, and then people who are interested in creating companies, supporting companies, and funding companies,” said Dr Mulcahy.
“Get a few people together in a room and the next thing is you have a problem and a solution that works, but they really need the clinical and business input. That’s where we are going to come from.”
Femtech is predicted to take off globally, with a Frost & Sullivan report foreseeing global venture capital funding and investments will grow to $9 billion (€8.3 billion) by 2024, up from $1.69 million (€1.57 million) in 2019. By 2025, the market globally is expected to exceed $275 billion (€256 billion).