Venture capital interns launch femtech startup – For/me to tackle menopause
- 75% of women who seek menopause care don’t get the support they need or deserve
- Women want to feel empowered, seen and valued through all stages of life, and age shouldn’t stop women taking agency for their own health to feel this
- For/me is a digital health start-up disrupting the menopause experience by educating, inspiring and normalising menopause for women, men and workplaces alike
WA startup For/me Women’s Health has had a busy few months since launching in September, responding to a flood of women seeking to better understand their hormones, so they can thrive through their menopause experience.
The Perth-based digital health venture is run by former Silicon Valley outpost Maggie Woloszyn and women’s business leader and nurse Grace Molloy. The pair met in early 2022 as interns at Brandon Capital and quickly learnt they had a mutual interest in women’s health and a desire to simplify how women access and consume healthcare.
Grace reflects on her own hormone journey, having used IVF to conceive two girls. “At the age of 28 I was told my hormones were abnormal and fertility treatment would be essential to conceive. After two years of grueling treatment, I was fortunate that IVF worked and I’m so grateful technology allowed me to conceive, not once but twice.” Years later, she became curious whether her hormone imbalances might be reducing her general wellbeing. “I started researching, listening to podcasts and reading about hormone balancing diets, exercise and the stress factors associated with hormone dysfunction.”
“My father was a specialist OBGYN and my mum, a midwife, so I considered myself to be quite well informed from a western medical sense. The notion that I could balance my hormones naturally was never discussed back when I was trying to conceive.”
After two years working with a naturopath and a functional dietitian, Grace now has a balanced hormone pattern and an advocate for both western and complementary medicine.
“I had to be my own advocate and not accept that this was my normal” reports Grace. “There was a lot of Dr Google and trial and error, which was stressful and overwhelming.” Now getting ready for the horizon that is menopause, Grace wants to be better prepared. “We need to be talking about menopause, learning about our bodies and setting ourselves up to thrive through our most commanding stage of life.”
For/me’s first task is to educate, normalise and connect women through a digital platform so they can curate their own personalised menopause journeys. “We believe women should be seen, valued and celebrated through all stages of life” observes Maggie Woloszyn, “with access to personalised data insights and evidence-based therapies we are breaking the traditional care pathway of menopause.”
Perimenopause, the 7-10 years that precedes menopause is a rocky ride for most women who attempt to soldier through, assuming mood swings, weight gain, exhaustion and brain fog are just a normal part of getting older. Many don’t get appropriate care, instead coping with excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption with the aid of antidepressants and drastic lifestyle adjustments like extreme dieting. When menopause hits, 85% of women experience hot flushes, brain fog, sleep disruption, vaginal dryness, gut and skin issues. 60% say symptoms impact their work performance and 41% report they significantly disrupt their personal relationships and family life.
With the right tools menopause doesn’t need to be this way.
For/me will offer digital access to symptom tracking, advanced biomarker analysis, personalised reporting, targeted educational content, plus best-practice menopause guidelines for select workplaces as part of their Inner Circle membership due to launch in early 2023.
“We’ve been connecting with women’s health experts, workplaces, US venture capital firms, femtech leaders and menopausal women to create a unique digital offering” says Maggie. “Tech-first menopause care shouldn’t be out of reach for 50% of the population that will go through this life transition and we are excited to be building this venture from Perth.”