Women to Watch - Female Founders in Alberta Health Innovation

By our Health Lead and Head of Experience, Crystal Phillips


I am always on the lookout for early stage, scalable ventures making a positive impact on humans. Today, on International Women’s Day 2022, a few stand out founders and their health tech companies are top of mind.


Find out why I’m excited about the following female led ventures, from femtech to dermatology innovation to mental resilience training.


The Natural Nipple - Lauren Wright, Founder


Lauren Wright is a Nurse Practitioner and microbiome researcher passionate about optimizing wellness in the global underserved community. In her PhD, she became fascinated by breast milk as the most preventative, dynamic, biological substance to give babies the healthiest start in life and became determined to help parents prolong breastfeeding. Her U.S. research revealed that 92% of parents give up after experiencing 'nipple confusion' caused by standard bottles. Premature cessation of breastfeeding across the world is an issue that causes ~1 million deaths in children under the age of 5 and costs the U.S. more than $300 billion annually, according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) (Global Breastfeeding Collective, 2017).

Lauren created The Natural Nipple to disrupt a $100 billion baby care and femtech industry​. According to her research, the technology provides seamless, stress-free breast and bottle feeding, with the only infant feeding system that is ​customized to mimic a mother’s shape, feel, and flow.


Lauren is on a mission to enable mothers to overcome the barriers they face so they can continue breastfeeding for the recommended minimum of 6 months according to the World Health Organization.

Lauren is on a mission to enable mothers to overcome the barriers they face so they can continue breastfeeding for the recommended minimum of 6 months according to the World Health Organization.

After ​receiving grant funding for ​research and development​, product market fit, and ​proof of concept ​- ​The Natural Nipple is raising a seed round to support the launch of their direct to consumer channel.


All Skin - Isabelle Vallerand, MD, PhD, Co-Founder


Dr. Isabelle Vallerand is a clinician-scientist, having completed an MD and PhD both from the University of Calgary, where she is currently a senior dermatology resident physician. As a scientist, her expertise is in the area of big data science, statistical modeling, AI and clinical research methodology. In addition, she is a certified makeup artist, a longtime hobby of hers. At All Skin, she is excited about blending different passions and skill sets to make the skincare and cosmetic industry safer for consumers around the world.

At the height of the pandemic, people were left suffering from the chronic itch, redness, burning and irritation of skin sensitivities due to the increasing strain to access the help they needed. The number one question she gets asked is “what should I use on my skin?" This need along with the emergence of teledermatology and virtual visits inspired her to develop All Skin, a digital health and beauty technology company. Their first product is an at home patch test for skin sensitivities. It enables people with sensitive skin to find out exactly which ingredients in everyday skincare or cosmetic products they are sensitive to, and then find safe and effective skincare and beauty products for their skin's unique makeup.

Isabelle’s vision is to lead the delivery of consumer precision skincare and cosmetics...to make the skincare and cosmetic industry safer for consumers around the world.

Isabelle’s vision is to lead the delivery of consumer precision skincare and cosmetics.

In the next 6-9 months, All Skin aims to launch an at-home patch test and product database platform in cosmetic dermatology clinics, and via direct to consumer channels.


All Skin is currently raising an early stage round to support product development and team growth.


DiveThru - Sophie Gray, Founder


Sophie started DiveThru because she knows what it’s like to feel unsafe in your own mind. After struggles with self harm and attempted suicide in her teens and a panic attack that resulted in a 38-hour cross country drive in her 20s, she finally accepted that she wasn’t “fine” and embarked on a mental health journey. She quickly discovered how inaccessible most resources were, both in the jargon they used and how they connected with young people. Sophie set out to create DiveThru to help young people take charge of their mental health in a relatable and accessible way.


Created alongside mental health professionals, the DiveThru app features a simple daily routine and interactive tools that help young people lead a mentally healthier and more fulfilling life.

Sophie is on a mission to help 100 million young people take charge of their mental health... in a relatable and accessible way.

Sophie is on a mission to help 100 million young people take charge of their mental health and in the next few months, will launch a new Peer Support Group in the app.

Dive Thru is raising a seed round to demonstrate product market fit and build their peer support groups, therapist roster and a loyalty program.

 

See what I mean? The startup ecosystem is growing and diversifying with powerful founders like Lauren, Isabelle and Sophie charging forward to #BuildWhatsNext.


Happy International Women’s Day!