Health research has long had a gender bias–diseases that predominantly affect men receive disproportionate funding and research interest, while women’s health issues are systematically understudied. Tech4Eva aims to change that by fostering innovation in women’s health.
Join Swissnex and Tech4Eva for an online discussion of global femtech innovation. Part of Tech4Eva’s virtual roadshow, the event will feature two panel discussions, interspersed with pitches from some of the top femtech startups from around the world. Speakers will explore how to build effective collaborations among diverse stakeholders to bring innovations into the market that will improve women’s health, including both formal healthcare as well as consumer products.
In the first panel, we will discuss how to affect changes in policies, regulations, and cultural norms to promote women’s health. The second panel will discuss how to improve women’s health benefits in today’s workplace. The event will also feature showcases of the startups taking part in the Tech4Eva roadshow.
Event Program (Boston Time)
10:00 Welcome Remarks & Intros
- Speakers: Benjamin Bollmann, CEO, Swissnex in Boston & New York, and Lan Zuo Gillet, Deputy Managing Director of EPFL Innovation Park and Founder of Tech4Eva
10:10 Intro Keynote – Setting the Stage
- Speaker: Rachel Braun Scherl, Managing Partner, SPARK Solutions For Growth, and Chief Development Officer, Pulse
10:20 Panel Discussion with Q&A: “How to engage with policy, regulation and cultural norms to promote women’s health”
- Speakers: Nada O Hanafi, SVP Regulatory Strategy, Veranex, Danielle Silber, Director of Corporate Engagement, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Nadia Khamis, Director Corporate Engagement, Planned Parenthood, and Mario Garcia, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Innovation Hub of the University at Buffalo
- Moderator: Rachel Braun Scherl, Managing Partner, SPARK Solutions For Growth and Chief Development Officer, Pulse
10:50 Tech4Eva Showcase of Selected Growth Stage Start-ups
- Startups: Sabrina Badir of Pregnolia, Sven Mulfinger of Dana Health, Oana Gharbi of Proov, Liza Velarde of Delee, Rob Milnes of Vio Healthtech, Rebecca Sternberg of AquaFit, and Cristina Rossi of b-rayZ
11:00 Panel Discussion with Q&A: “Navigating women’s health benefits in today’s workplace”
- Speakers: Elizabeth Gazda, CEO, Embrlabs, and Maryon Stewart, CEO, Femmar Health Corp. Elaine-Marie Cannella, Director, Willis Towers Watson Health & Benefits and Tammy Sun, Founder & CEO, Carrot Fertility
- Moderator: Lizamarie Mohamed, Senior Program Associate, Rhia Ventures
11:40 Tech4Eva Showcase of Selected Growth Stage Start-ups
- Startups: David Stoikovitch of Moona, Tzali Cnaani of Carmel Diagnostics, Eva Galant of Hashiona, Marc Finch of PreTel, Nadia Prisant of IMMA, Ruben Molina of INNITIUS, and Hélène Guillaume Pabis of Wild AI
11:50 Q&A and Closing Remarks
Lan Zuo GilletDEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR, EPFL INNOVATION PARK
Lan is the Deputy Managing Director of EPFL Innovation Park and an Expert of Innosuisse – the Swiss Innovation Agency. She has 23 years of hands-on professional experience in industry as well as in the ecosystem of innovation & entrepreneurship.
Lan started her career at R&D department of Rolex, in charge of creating new computer aided design and optimisation tools in the product development process. She was later appointed as Head of Operational Planning at Pictet, working closely with a startup to design, develop and implement a management information system for group operation control. As the Managing Director of Geneva Creativity Center, she connected large corporations, SMEs, startups and researchers to initiate innovative joint R&D projects.
Currently at EPFL Innovation Park, she is leading entrepreneurship training and acceleration programs and is helping startups to establish business partnership with large corporations. Lan has a PhD degree from EPFL, an MBA from HEC Lausanne and postdoctoral applied research experience at Stanford University.
Benjamin BollmannCEO, SWISSNEX IN BOSTON AND NEW YORK
Benjamin Bollmann is the CEO of Swissnex in Boston and New York. He was previously Deputy CEO at Swissnex in San Francisco, where he launched interdisciplinary programs spanning from science communication to humanitarian action and human rights in the digital age. Before joining Swissnex in 2015, he worked as a journalist and communication specialist at the intersection of science, data, and design in Switzerland. Benjamin is a graduate of ETH Zurich and has conducted neuroscience and AI research at MIT.
Rachel Braun ScherlMANAGING PARTNER, SPARK SOLUTIONS FOR GROWTH AND CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, PULSE
Rachel Braun Scherl brings passion, performance and commitment to all of her personal and professional endeavors. A dynamic speaker and accomplished consultant, Rachel is an established authority on leadership, entrepreneurship and women’s health. Her expertise has helped to drive significant growth for her clients and her own ventures. A passion for women’s health has formed the backbone of her career. Rachel is a fearless advocate and market-maker in the multibillion-dollar global women’s sexual health marketplace. As a prolific thought leader on the subject, Rachel published Orgasmic Leadership: Profiting from the Coming Surge in Female Health and Wellness in May 2018.
As Managing Partner and Co-Founder of SPARK Solutions for Growth, a strategic growth consultancy which she co-founded in 1998, Rachel has led hundreds of engagements with multinationals including Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Pfizer, Bayer and Church & Dwight, among others. She has also assisted multiple startups, specializing in the women’s health subsector focused on reproductive and sexual health, including pregnancy menstruation, fertility, incontinence, desire, arousal, and menopause. Rachel previously co-founded and served as President of Semprae Laboratories, a venture-backed company engaged in developing and marketing women’s sexual health products. She helped to create a new category, and continues to take the lead in reframing entrenched beliefs about women’s sexuality. Semprae experienced robust growth in retail and direct-to-consumer, attracting media attention and industry interest. The company was sold to Innovus Pharmaceuticals in 2013.
Rachel is a frequent speaker at universities, including Stanford University, Duke University and, as well as at Fortune 100 companies and national conferences. Her television appearances include ABC’s News, CBS News and MSNBC. She been interviewed for major platforms including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, CNN and penned 60+ articles for The Huffington Post and Inc. Rachel earned an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business after graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University.
Rachel has been featured for her work in Women’s Health and Leadership on ABC News, CBS, msnbc, AdAge, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lifetime, Oprah Radio, FOX News, WPIX, Inc., & Forbes. She has a regular column at Huffington Post and writes for Inc. Rachel is a Board member of illumai & Advisory Board Member at Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, The Fuqua School of Business.
Nada O HanafiSVP REGULATORY STRATEGY, VERANEX
Nada joined Experien Group (now Veranex) in 2017 after working 12 years at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). Since 2010 she had been a CDRH senior science health advisor in the Center Director’s office. Nada combines her deep institutional knowledge with innovative approaches to help companies successfully communicate product information to the FDA throughout the total product life cycle. Leveraging her years of reviewer experience and broad FDA exposure, she develops actionable premarket strategies to guide programs through successful submission. She also orchestrates compliance activity. While at the FDA, Nada led postmarket investigations for OB-GYN devices, wrinkle fillers, tanning devices, breast implants, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) devices, and metal-on-metal hip implants, and she applies this knowledge to help companies effectively manage postmarket requirements.
At Veranex, Nada helps medical device and combination product manufacturers generate regulatory/clinical road maps for success. Building upon her strong engineering background, she helps companies devise and position product performance testing and/or clinical studies to achieve major milestones.
Nada initiated her career at Biomat Sciences as an R&D engineer supporting dental products. She joined CDRH’s Office of Device Evaluation (ODE) in 2004 and led FDA review teams for first-of-kind (and sometimes controversial) devices, including a silicone gel-filled breast implant PMA, a drug-eluting neurovascular stent IDE, and two novel neurological stent HDEs for the treatment of atherosclerotic disease. As a Senior Science Health Advisor at CDRH, Nada led cross-Center and agency programs for the advancement of the FDA’s mission, including the Health of Women (HoW) program, the Network of Experts program, and the Patient Preference Initiative. She collaborated with the Center for Tobacco and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to improve regulatory efficiency and to strengthen data collection, and she was the CDRH liaison and subject matter expert to the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health (OWH) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH).
Nada holds a B.E. and an M.S. in biomedical materials science and engineering from Queen Mary College, University of London. She earned her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Nada is a Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) and a Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) from the American Society for Quality (ASQ).
Mario GarciaENTREPRENEUR-IN-RESIDENCE, INNOVATION HUB OF THE UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO
Mario works with VC-funded companies that are bringing new products to the market. He has twenty years of experience developing proof-of-concept projects to validate new technologies, staging new deployments with corporations and other large organizations, and communicating complex scientific and engineering concepts to a wide range of executive stakeholders. He specializes in executing market-entry strategies for biotech, digital health, and consumer wellness, and he is deeply knowledgeable in team formation, defining a clarity of vision, and creating an evidence-based market hypothesis for early-stage innovations.
Elizabeth GazdaCEO, EMBRLABS
Elizabeth Gazda is the CEO of Embr Labs, a Boston-based wearables company that developed the Embr Wave – a wrist-worn, thermal therapeutic that improves sleep, relieves anxiety and helps with hot flashes.
Prior to Embr Labs, Liz was a member of several founding teams including Doni, a fintech company, and Noteflight, a music technology company and has also worked at a number of Boston’s fastest growing companies, including m-Qube (acq. Verisign) and unicorn Art Technology Group (acq. Oracle). Liz began her career with Philips Consumer Electronics in the Netherlands, where she was responsible for driving innovation in several business divisions across multiple countries.
Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and International relations from UC Berkeley where she was also a member of the Women’s Varsity Soccer team. She also holds an International MBA from Nijenrode University in the Netherlands and an Executive Coaching degree from William James College. Elizabeth serves as a board member and advisor to several start-up companies.
Maryon StewartCEO, FEMMAR HEALTH CORP.
Maryon Stewart is the author of Manage Your Menopause Naturally and 27 other books. A world-renowned healthcare expert, who is often referred to as the Pioneer of the Natural Menopause Movement. She has helped hundreds of thousands of women around the world overcome PMS and menopause symptoms without using drugs or hormones. She has had her own TV and radio shows as well as contributing to many other shows and series in the UK and currently contributes to PBS in the US.
She is currently the CEO of Femmar Health Corp which provides well research tech enabled natural menopause solutions to women both in and out of the workplace. In 2018 she was awarded the British Empire Medal and was recognized as one of the 50 most inspirational women by the Daily Mail.
Elaine-Marie CannellaDIRECTOR, WILLIS TOWERS WATSON HEALTH & BENEFITS
Elaine Cannella is a Director in the Metro NY Health Management (HM) Practice supporting the Health and Group Benefits (HGB) Practice. She is the East Division Business Development Clinician Lead aligned to both carrier and vendor relationships in the northeast. Elaine was tapped in 2019 as the National Family Building and Fertility lead supporting clients as they develop a more inclusive and equitable benefit design. More recently, her role has expanded to include a reproductive wellbeing model encompassing the concerns and conditions affecting pre-conception stage and conditions affecting Men’s reproductive health, Women’s reproductive health such as low testosterone and menopause.
Her areas of expertise include benefit strategy, design, alternative care delivery models and operational carrier performance inclusive of care, disease, utilization management and holistic wellbeing programs. She prides her practice on health care program performance, utilization trends and customized strategy alignment to the overall family care as it relates to population health.
Ms. Cannella has more than 25 years in the health benefits space and 10 years previous to that in the clinician role. She is a Family Clinical Nurse Specialist and a former Army Nurse Corp Captain-Reserves. She served on the Tricare Utilization Management Advisory Committee at Health Affairs in Washington DC during the Region 1 contracting process. She continues to be an active participant in the managed care nursing arena.
Before joining Willis Towers Watson in 2018, Ms. Cannella was a 13 year United Health Group veteran serving as National Vice President overseeing a team responsible for liaising and supporting 26 Medicaid/Medicare health plans in the US. Prior to that, she served as Sr. Director on the National Accounts team overseeing the delivery of Optum clinical services/products to United Healthcare’s largest national clients.
Ms. Cannella has a BSN in nursing from Mt. St. Mary College, Newburgh, NY and a MSN in Family Health from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY.
Tammy SunFOUNDER & CEO, CARROT FERTILITY
Tammy Sun is the Co-founder and CEO of Carrot Fertility, the leading global fertility healthcare company. Carrot’s mission is to make fertility care accessible and affordable to all regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or geography.
Under Tammy's leadership, Carrot has been honored by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies, recognized for its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a gold winner in the inaugural Anthem Awards, and named to Fierce Healthcare's Fierce 15 list highlighting the most promising healthcare companies.
Prior to founding Carrot, Tammy had a successful career across marketing, technology, and politics. Most recently, she was the Director of Partnerships at Evernote. Prior to Evernote, she spent a decade in politics, where she served as a presidential appointee at the Federal Communications Commission during the Obama administration. She also held roles at the Clinton Foundation and The White House.
Lizamarie MohamedSENIOR PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, RHIA VENTURES
Lizamarie is the Senior Program Associate for Rhia Ventures helping to advance its Corporate Engagement program to influence the business community to support sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.
She brings over a decade of policy and advocacy experience in sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice. Prior to Rhia Ventures, Lizamarie was the State Issues Manager at the Guttmacher Institute where she analyzed sexual and reproductive health-related legislative, regulatory and judicial actions, tracked state policy developments, and monitored state trends across the US.
Her work there led her to develop the maternal health portfolio which included issues related to maternal mortality and access to sexual and reproductive health for those incarcerated. Lizamarie is passionate about social justice issues, is committed to advancing access to quality, comprehensive care for those historically marginalized and underserved, and brings a racial equity lens to her work. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Skidmore College in Gender Studies and Government and a Juris Doctor from Seattle University School of Law.
Nadia KhamisDIRECTOR OF CORPORATE ENGAGEMENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD
Nadia Khamis has been Director of Corporate Engagement in Planned Parenthood’s Brand, Culture and Communications Division since September 2019. Prior, she spent her career across the private, public and non-profit sectors committed to building public-private partnerships and business-driven solutions that promote inclusive, socio-economic growth, gender equality and sustainable development. She spent five years at Goldman Sachs, selling socially and environmentally responsible investment strategies to cross-asset clients, and managing global corporate engagement projects for both the CEO's Office and Executive Office's 10,000 Women program across 30+ countries. Subsequently, Nadia spent seven years working in the international public and non-profit sectors, building cross-sector coalitions and advancing sustainable development solutions through the International Labour Organization, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The B Team and Vital Voices. She has studied at Dartmouth College, Sciences Po, and Oxford University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in France.
Danielle SilberDIRECTOR OF CORPORATE ENGAGEMENT, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION (ACLU)
Danielle Silber is the Director of Corporate Engagement for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) where she leads a team to develop corporate partnerships to help further civil rights through cause marketing, consumer education, employee engagement and corporate advocacy. In the wake of the Muslim Ban and increasing threats to voting rights, racial justice, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and the very foundation of our democracy, Danielle has helped hundreds of companies leverage their resources to help protect the rights of their employees and customers. Danielle co-founded Don’t Ban Equality, a network of 600+ companies promoting the right to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion, as critical for advancing gender equity in the workplace and in society. Danielle has also led dozens of company-facing workshops on the importance of addressing racial justice and voting rights as part of businesses’ civic engagement programming.
Previously she headed up Corporate Alliances for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) where she had the privilege of designing cause marketing campaigns with brands like HBO’s Game of Thrones and employment recruitment pipelines for companies like Chipotle to destigmatize and support refugees in the United States and abroad.
Before joining the IRC, Danielle taught International Studies at Washington University in St. Louis and in her spare time, served on the board of and ran the New York chapter of COLAGE, a national youth advocacy and education organization by and for people with one or more Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and/or Transgender parents.