PEOPLE: Sparking innovation in women’s health – Megan Capriccio

According to recent analysis by Pitchbook, the global market for female-focused health products in 2019 generated US$820.6 millions and is estimated to reach at least $3 billion by the end of 2030. However, only 4% of healthcare research and development is targeted specifically at women’s health issues.

In this interview, Megan Capriccio shares FemTech Collective’s journey from being founded in the US, expanding to Australia, and scaling to support women’s health.

  • Why did you start the FemTech Collective?

In 2018, FemTech Collective was founded in San Francisco, California to better support the women’s health technology ecosystem through a supportive global network, educational workshops, mentorship and networking programs and more. We recognized that FemTech is a unique field that can change the lives of women where governments and healthcare systems have failed. In mid-2019, we realized that Australia was an untapped market. FemTech was growing around the world, but there was still a major hole in the Aussie economy where FemTech should be. 

After testing the market for about 12 months, we concluded that there is incredible interest for women’s health innovation products as well as enthusiasm for professionals to make career shifts to the FemTech space. We decided that the FemTech Collective would serve a valuable purpose to grow the women’s health tech industry and make Australia a key player for FemTech globally.

  • What have been your biggest successes to date? 

Our biggest success to date is the development of our Australia expansion. We were able to take the FemTech Collective values, approach, and ethos to best fit the Aussie reality. We quickly recognized that FemTech in Australia does not have the resources that the United States has, therefore, our strategy needed to consider the best case practices to train the next generation of women’s health technology leaders.

We concluded that education, partnerships, and strategically using our supportive global network would be the best way forward to spark innovation in the space. Out of this we have launched an annual membership with key features such as a personalized concierge service, discounted products and services from our strategic partners, and subsidized access to our educational events and programs.

  • What has been most challenging about launching and growing the organisation? 

Education. Educating the general public about what the term FemTech means. Educating users about different aspects of women’s health. Educating professionals about products already in circulation in the FemTech space. Educating governments about the importance of making women’s health a priority. Educating health professionals about FemTech leading the way for personalized and convenient healthcare for women. Educating investors on how women are not a niche market, they are 50% of the global population. Also educating investors about the positive returns on investment in FemTech. 

Education has been our greatest challenge but also our biggest focus in order to continually grow FemTech Collective as an organisation and FemTech as an industry. Fortunately, all of our hard work is paying off (even be it slowly) as we are seeing increased interest and resources from a variety of stakeholders across the landscape.

  • How has the pandemic impacted the femtech sphere? 

As with most industries, FemTech experienced a few months dip in 2020 particularly when it came to fundraising and investment. However, as health was top of people’s minds, we saw more and more interest in FemTech products and an increase in users. Particularly, as traditional healthcare methods became inaccessible or simply unsafe to utilize, many women turned to FemTech companies for TeleHealth appointments, direct to home prescriptions for contraception and fertility, SaaS products that better assist with health monitoring and electronic medical records, and more.

In a way, the #metoo movement, the rise of Donald Trump, and the global pandemic forced women to find positive solutions out of terrible circumstances, as women often do. Turning to technology and innovation has progressed women’s health forward and allowed us to demand a world where our wellbeing is a priority. 

  • How do you anticipate the femtech sector to evolve in 2021? What will be the biggest changes?

In 2021, FemTech will excel and will continue into the foreseeable future. More individuals are recognizing how technology can ease health management and more and more investors are recognizing the strategic investment into femtech. 

As we continue to utilize innovation and technology to better suit women’s health at every stage of life, we will recognize more and more gaps where technology can better serve women. This will encourage further innovation and allow for personalization in women’s healthcare that is specific to each women’s reality (life stages, minority communities, rare health conditions, etc). 

In the end, the biggest positive change that FemTech creates is for those (particularly women) who are suffering in silence to be heard.

About the expert

Megan Capriccio is the Co-Founder for the FemTech Collective in Australia. As an entrepreneur, product manager, and business strategist, Megan has dedicated her career to ensuring that women have more control over their realities: Health, education, and career.

From researching the role of women on the international stage at the University of Sydney, to establishing a tequila company that empowers and celebrates women in the wine and spirits industry, to launching the FemTech Collective in Sydney, Megan’s various roles have gained her recognition as a champion for positive change for women. She is currently working with and consulting for FemTech companies, investors, and partners across Australia and the US to grow the ecosystem, offer additional support for women to manage their health with the help of technology, and to re-educate the public on how healthy women create a healthy society.

Image description: Megan has shoulder-length brown hair and is wearing a black sleeveless top. She is smiling. The background is blurred.