Investing in Healthcare & Life Science Female Founders

Our mission is to bridge the gap in gender divide and promote female founders working in underrepresented industries such as digital health and life science. We work with female founders to develop the key skills and confidence required to build a global organisation and attract investment.

We aim to improve gender equality when it comes to raising investment. The gender gap in VC is unacceptable. Despite a record amount of VC invested in the EU in 2021, less than 1% was invested in female founders. And in that same year, the U.S. only invested 2% of funding in female founders. Up to 87% of all VC funding was raised by men-only founding teams, while funding raised by women-only teams has dropped from 3% to 1% since 2018.

Females Underrepresented in Venture Capital

The gender gap in VC is also extremely concerning. With just 1% of capital in 2021 raised by funds with women only GPs, compared to 84% raised by funds with all-male GP teams. As a result of the lack of diversity in VC, female founders often receive questioning bias, when trying to raise funds. Questioning bias refers to female founders been asked prevention questions and male founders been asked promotion questions.

Male founders were often asked questions on their hopes, achievements, advancement, and ideals, whereas female founders were questioned on safety, responsibility, security, and vigilance. Founders who answered primarily prevention questions raised about seven times less than those who fielded mostly promotion questions.

We aim to be part of the change required and advocate for gender correlation between female investors and investment in female founders. We also aim to promote gender policy that would increase the number of GPs as well as greater access to larger funds, if female VCs are to really make an impact.

Virtual Accelerator

Through our virtual accelerator, we support female founders operating in the digital health and life science space. We provide access to our global network and strengths and connect female founders to potential investors. We also work with investors to understand the importance of investing in female founders.

We provide extensive learnings in how to become investment ready, along with delivering a range of other high-level learnings in a range of bespoke topics. All female founders receive access to our global mentors, experts and international core partners.

7 Further Reasons To Participant In Grit

1. Opportunities to grow your business through international collaboration

2. Gain greater understanding of the many challenges faced-when working outside your home market

3. Build lifelong relationships with other international female participants

4. Gain an in-depth understanding of how VCs work

5. Analyse start-up cash flow, valuation and how to negotiate VC term sheets

6. Evaluate who you aspire to be as a leader

7. Understand the importance of start-up boards

Bespoke Female Accelerator

There is significant evidence that female founders face unique challenges in starting and growing businesses, particularly in emerging markets. Accelerator programs which are designed to help start-up businesses achieve scale, represent one potential model for overcoming these challenges through support services and investment.

Bespoke female accelerator programs, examines through two lenses: first, delivery of best approaches to support female founders; and second, addressing the significant confidence and knowledge gap around fundraising, and therefore developing and designing an accelerator that would provide specific support targeting knowledge and negotiating skills.

"No cost to participate and no equity taken"

Diane Nevin, CEO & Startup Program Director

The Role of Gender in Start-up Funding

Sourcing venture capital is often one of the primary factors that a start-up can succeed or fail. While gender diversity contributes to start-up success, most funding is allocated to male-only entrepreneurial teams.

Women in global healthcare industries, makes up to 70% of the workforces. However, the health technology, female led, by comparison, continues to struggle with a significant gender gap, its workforce is only about one-quarter female.

Health technology, a growing field that includes medical device, device-based diagnostic, digital health, and health information technology companies, sits squarely between the healthcare and high-technology industries. However, its gender landscape remains undefined.

Our objective is to improve this current metric through the learnings obtained within our Grit program.

Our Mission

To bridge the gap in gender divide and promote women working in underrepresented industries in STEM, technology, and digital health fields. And improve gender equality when it comes to raising investment.

Grit Alumni

Our Mentors

We are privileged to work with global industry experts and appreciate their time and support to work as valued mentors throughout our accelerators. We are equally privileged to have our core partners and board members participate in our program mentoring sessions also.

Hassan Chaudhury

Founder with an exit. Visiting lecturer at world first Global Business School for Health at UCL, appointed as expert in digital health and international trade by UK Government, co-Chair of HIMSS Innovation Committee. Mentor and advisor to multiple companies.

Luciana Ciubotariu

Over 15 years’ of experience in private sector (consulting, banking and FMCG) and public sector with foreign Direct investment (UK Belgium, Switzerland and new Zealand).

Hazel Chappell

Ishca Health

Over 20 years’ experience in Healthcare, BioScience, Change Management, Data Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Security of Data.

Jennifer Ralph James

Over 20 years’ experience in Life sciences; Pharmaceutical (medical affairs); Government agency; Research funding; Research ethics; Medical communications / writing.

Meet Our Team

Diane Nevin

CEO & Startup Program Director

Laila Engkat

International Digital Marketing & Events Manager

Kristina Eskenazi

AI & Cyber Security Consultant

Professor Kerryn Butler-Henderson

Digital Health Consultant

Advisory Team

Diane Nevin

CEO & Startup Program Director

Eilísh Hardiman

Chief Executive at Children’s Health Ireland

Barbara Skerritt

Senior Director, Innovation Delivery at ICON plc-Ireland

Sarita Johnson

Director, Business Planning at Capstone Business Advisors Limited

Susan Neenan

Senior Director, Global Vendor Relationship, Risk Management at Alexion Pharm International Operations Ireland

Anna King

Commercial Director at Health Innovation Network-NHS South London UK

Conor Russell

Vice President of Operations at Boston Scientific Ireland

Joann Rhodes

Chief Executive at Health Innovation Research Alliance – Northern Ireland (HIRANI)

Ligia Kornowska

Medical doctor & Managing Director of the Polish Hospital Federation-Poland

P.J Moloney

CEO & Founder, Chief Scientific Officer & Director at P4ML, Dubai UAE

Professor Sarah Wamala Andersson

Professor of Health and Welfare Technology Malardalen University-Sweden

Kristina Eskenazi

Founder of Health & Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria & Chair of Bulgarian Bio-Scientific Society Artificial Intelligence-Bulgaria

Hrvoje Belani

Head of Sector for IS Implementation and Improvement at Directorate for e-Health at Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia

Professor Kerryn Butler-Henderson

Digital Health Expert at RMIT, University Melbourne, Australia

Who Should Apply

International female start-ups and diverse teams that are operating in digital health and life science. The business must be at proof of concept stage, preferably with some investment already obtained. The business must be scalable and innovative.

Applications are currently open. Please submit your interest and company details through the F6S button or Google From below.

Participate Benefits

Programme Learnings

Upcoming Program Timeline

4th January
3rd March
14th March
27th January 2022
15th February 2022
10th February

Our Partners

Get in touch

Sign up to our monthly newsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest news in global digital health.