Healthcare incubator and innovation hub MATTER recently announces the next focus area of its 51 Labs accelerator: reducing maternal mortality in the U.S. On a mission to help save one million lives annually by 2030, Laerdal Million Lives Fund will partner with MATTER to provide capital and support the cohort.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention precently published new data showing that the number of women who died from pregnancy or a pregnancy-related cause in the U.S. in 2021 increased by 40 percent from 2020. This rate of maternal mortality in the U.S. is now the highest since 1965, and the U.S. fares worse than any other industrialized nation.

While all ages and races saw an increase in maternal mortality in 2021, Black mothers remain the most affected. Black women are 2.6 times more likely to die from pregnancy or pregnancy-related causes than white women in the U.S.

“Women’s health has not received the investment and attention it needs to allow every woman to access quality, affordable maternal care,” said Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “The next focus area of 51 Labs will address the pressing issue of rising maternal mortality rates by empowering healthcare innovators and entrepreneurs to develop and scale solutions that improve access to care and early intervention. We are thrilled Laerdal Million Lives Fund will support the companies in the cohort.”

Once the top solutions are identified, the cohort will participate in a rigorous 12-week, multifaceted curriculum consisting of exclusive workshops, peer group forums, industry roundtables and mentorship to further develop the capabilities of each entrepreneur and their business, including building key competencies such as product-market fit, go-to-market strategy, fundraising and presentation and selling skills.

“As a healthcare technology investor with a mission to save lives, we cannot ignore the urgent need to address maternal mortality,” said Becca Shmukler, principal at Laerdal Million Lives Fund. “By partnering with MATTER, we are excited to identify and fuel innovative solutions that can directly address this issue and help prevent the unnecessary deaths of women across the country.”

MATTER recently concluded the first 51 Labs accelerator cohort, which accelerated the development of 11 companies focused on menopause.

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