FemHealth Founders and StitchCrew are teaming up and launching a new accelerator program focused exclusively on women’s health and wellness. FemHealth Founders (FHF) is an innovation hub that empowers female founders to build and lead profitable, women-centric companies that are offering solutions to women’s health-related issues. The organization was founded by three Northwest Arkansas entrepreneurs: April Roy, Elizabeth Prenger, and Natalie Shew. StitchCrew is an organization building a more equitable economy through entrepreneurship by designing and implementing programs that democratize capital, resources and networks for underserved entrepreneurs. Made possible in part by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation , the new program wants to support the launch of 50 women’s health focused businesses by 2026.
Participants in the the accelerator program will receive a $10K non-dilutive grant, learn from industry executives, VCs and other thought leaders in the space. Areas of interest include personalized healthcare innovation, interoperable applications between physician and patient, real world evidence health data platforms, consumer solutions, wellness solutions, and mental health solutions.
The program is specifically designed for early-stage companies providing solutions to improve healthcare for women across a number of female-specific conditions, including maternal health, menstrual health, pelvic and sexual health, fertility, menopause, and contraception, as well as a number of general health conditions that affect women disproportionately or differently such as osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease. The program excludes biopharma and incumbent medical devices given the timeline and regulations required to bring products to market.
“The time to invest in Women’s Health is now. We are proud to partner with FHF and the Walton Family Foundation to support women entrepreneurs building solutions that improve care delivery, address stigmatized areas and deliver culturally sensitive and tailored care options for women,” said Erika Lucas, Co-Founder of StitchCrew.
Natalie Shew, FHF Co-Founder adds: “About 1 percent of healthcare innovation and research is invested in female-specific conditions, beyond oncology. That number should be far higher. We’re excited to work with like-minded organizations to propel women founders in the heartland who want to improve and expand women’s health and wellness solutions.”
To be considered for the accelerator, startups must be women-led and be based in the U.S. Selected participants will be required to travel to Northwest Arkansas for a portion of the program to engage in-person programming. The application will open in November 2022.