Women in Health Entrepreneurship

When it comes to healthcare and entrepreneurship, there is no such thing as a founder journey without challenges, hurdles, difficulties or dilemmas.  That said, across the system, it is often the case that female-identifying and diverse individuals face particular and specific barriers that are not always faced by their counterparts.

For example, 63% of men are highly confident about raising their next round versus just 10% of females (The State of Australian Startup Funding Report).

At the MedTech Actuator, we’re for founders.  And this means really understanding the diversity of experiences of entrepreneurs from all corners of the system, and from multiple backgrounds and contexts. The MedTech Actuator is creating opportunities so more women can learn about and participate in the healthcare innovation ecosystem.  

In this blog, we’re sharing key tips from the expert panel at the recent MedTech Actuator Women who lunch. And keep reading to check out more ecosystem opportunities and to sign up for upcoming MedTech Actuator events near you.

Women Who Raise
Women Who Raise | MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech

Women Who Raise | MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech

Last month, the MedTech Actuator hosted Lunch Chats: Women Who Raise – MedTech, BioTech, and HealthTech, putting female founders at the helm of the conversation to talk about capital raising. 

Dr Anabela Correia – CEO and Managing Director at LiVac, Rachel Yang – Partner at Giant Leap, and Tanisha Banaszczyk – Principal at Folklore Ventures joined the panel and provided a broad overview of the investment experience in Australia. We’ve wrapped up the panels’ key tips and tricks for navigating fundraising for MedTech, BioTech, and HealthTech startups.

Tips and tricks for successfully raising capital

1. Prepare, prepare some more, then go back and prepare again. 

“I’ve learned to prepare and I can’t overemphasise – prepare! It takes us about three months to get ready for a capital raise and to set up a really detailed data room. We pride ourselves on (the fact) that if an investor asks us a question we can answer it straight away. There is no hesitation. That helps to keep the conversation moving… It is all about preparation,” – Dr Anabela Correia, CEO and Managing Director at LiVac.

2. Understand the path you’re taking before you even begin. Start by reading Venture Deals or watching some of Startup Vic panel discussions (recommended by Rachel Yang – Partner at Giant Leap).

3. Know who you’re pitching to and know your investor’s mandate. There is no point speaking to an investor who doesn’t invest in early-stage startups if that is what you are. Do your research. 

4. Getting noticed by investors can be hard. Accelerator programs like the MedTech Actuator Accelerator can get you in front of potential investors. And ecosystem partners such as Startup Vic, Fishburners and What the Health?! often run investment focused events where you can learn more and meet people.

“We really nurture our networks. We’re constantly updating investors on our progress, at least once a month, and we often stop by for coffee. They’re part of the LiVac family. These relationships are really important to us,” Dr Anabela Correia,CEO and Managing Director at LiVac

5. If this is your first time seeking investment, talk to others who have been there before. Use your founder network as a support group, a sounding board, and a pathway for warm introductions.

6. A lot can happen before that first meeting. Investors will want a pitch deck, some market context and even anecdotal evidence from a trusted community member. Don’t be alarmed if they perform their own due diligence too. Be ready to answer any questions and send over all requested documents before you sit down for the first conversation.

7. In the early stages, it is all about the founders and the team. 

“It is very much a people game… really we want to know that the people behind the business are there doing their life’s work, growing the business and that they’re executors – they can get the things done that they need to get done and also attract a strong team around them,” Rachel Yang, Partner at Giant Leap.

8. Impact has to come from within and it has to be woven into the very fabric of what you’re building. Be prepared to start measuring impact potential.

“(Giant Leap) looks for impact embedded in the business model. So what that means if for every dollar invested, there is a unit of impact… In the healthcare space, it is things like improved health outcomes, healthcare savings to the broader system,” – Rachel Yang, Partner at Giant Leap.

9. The ecosystem is optimistic about digital health and its impact on healthcare, so there has never been a better time to dive into healthcare startups, especially if you’re a female founder.

“When you think about what opportunities are out there and where there is the most potential for innovation in a space, it is about what problems can be solved. (Investors) are really optimistic about… the digital health space and digital therapeutics. The ability to solve these (healthcare) problems at scale is really exciting.” – Rachel Yang, Partner at Giant Leap.

What’s next?

There are many opportunities for you to explore entrepreneurship across the healthcare innovation ecosystem. Join the MedTech Actuator at an upcoming event near you:

  • Morning with Women in Health Entrepreneurship – Join the MedTech Actuator and partners for a morning exploring what it takes to be an entrepreneur in the healthcare ecosystem. This event will speak to the hurdles and challenges often faced by female-identifying and diverse individuals in healthcare. Anyone interested in healthcare entrepreneurship is welcome to attend. Reserve your seat today.
  • The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship – if you’re an early-stage researcher or post-graduate student interested in innovating in human health then the Menzies Scholarship is perfect for you. Applications open soon. Register your interest here.
  • The MedTech Actuator Office Hours – we’ve opened up our calendars and would love to sit down with emerging female and diverse founders. From friendly intros to questions about programs to soundboard, Makenzie would love to chat with you. Book a call today!

The MedTech Actuator is actively opening and fostering an inclusive MedTech innovation ecosystem. We strongly encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to engage with our community and apply to our programs. 

This post was created by Makenzie Thomas, Program and Community Coordinator, and, Simran Jain, Marketing Coordinator, at MedTech Actuator