The Healthtech VC

The Healthtech VC

Featuring founders, investors and leaders in healthtech.

Latest From Series

S2 006: Cecilie Hvidberg Jakobsen. Infertility support & data science at wawa. 👩‍👧‍👧🤖

With a background in data science and fintech, Cecilia wondered how to take established solutions in fintech and translate them to the under-served healthcare market. wawa is an intelligent fertility assistant app that helps patients navigate the fertility journey. Used by couples who are experiencing infertility, single mothers and same-sex couples undergoing assisted conception, wawa has found a really good product-market fit. They are focused on  closing the reproductive data gap and most impressively, unlike any other healthtech company I’ve met, the wawa patient community has managed to get a reproductive law changed in Denmark. We touch on deep market research, building a meaningful community and wawa’s ‘go-to-community’ strategy. Currently active in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, wawa is expanding in Germany with their next stop the UK. We discuss the varying fertility laws across Europe and how this impacts the infertility market and the information asymmetry that exists between patients and providers. I also get to reminisce a bit about my time in the NHS when I was a gynaecological radiologist performing fertility investigations such as hysterosalpingograms. This is a deep dive into the world of infertility – I hope you enjoy our conversation.
June 25, 2022

S2 005: Jenny Saft. Fertility & Family forming benefits at Apryl. 🤰🏽🇩🇪

Having just raised a EUR4.1M seed round, Jenny Saft, cofounder at Apryl is hoping to transform the way that employers provide fertility and family forming benefits to employees. From a business background of big corporates, an MBA and then fintech, Jenny moved into healthtech due to personal journey with egg freezing. Berlin-based Apryl believes that everyone has a right to create a family and they are building solutions for this based on employee benefits. We discuss the very fragmented European fertility market, what employee fertility and family forming benefits are, why this area is mislabelled as femtech, the power of the employee in a post-pandemic world and the bias that people have in this space when it comes to LGBTQ+ community.
June 18, 2022

S2 004: Duleek Ranatunga. Computational biology at Pear Bio. 🧬🤖

As computational biology rises as a sector, we meet Duleek Ranatunga, founder of Pear Bio. A scientist founder, Duleek has a background in pharmaceuticals, nano-engineering and medical statistics. Having always wanted to start a biotech company, Duleek founded Pear Bio to build solutions in precision oncology. Pear Bio uses computational biology techniques to ensure patients are getting the most effective chemotherapy combination for them, with the least side effects. We discuss what computational biology is, how an organ on a chip works and how computer vision technology is used alongside the organ on a chip to create the Pear Bio solution. Duleek touches on building and maintaining relationships with clinicians in the UK and US, how he has approached fundraising and his investor funnel and the regulation required to work with human tissue samples and run a wet lab in London. As a former oncological radiologist in the NHS, I have seen the oncology patient experience from inside of the hospital and I strongly believe in what Pear Bio are building which is why we invested in Pear Bio.
June 13, 2022

S2 003: Barbara Domayne-Hayman ➡️ From big pharma to biotech startups & investing. 🧪🧬🤖

From a PhD in chemistry to big pharma and biotech to startups and now investing, Barbara successfully navigates a portfolio career. Today, she sits on the investment committees of the Cambridge Enterprise seed fund and Life Arc’s seed fund. She is also the entrepreneur in Residence at the Francis Crick Institute in London. She also runs the KQ Labs accelerator, helping data-driven scientist and health founders commercialise their ideas. Two of our portfolio companies, Mendelian and Charco Neurotech, have been through the KQ Labs programme. An alumna of the London Business School Sloan programme, Barbara has fearlessly navigated multiple career transitions, from big pharma to biotech to startups and investing. Today, she is also an angel investor and a member of the Cambridge Angels angel investor network.
June 5, 2022

S2 002: Rudy Benfredj @ Mendelian ➡️ Rare diseases, genetics, AI. 🧬🤖🏥

A computer scientist fascinated by the genetic code and its application to rare disease, Rudy Benfredj moved into healthtech and cofounded Mendelian. Mendelscan, their core technology helps identify patients at risk of developing a rare disease early. We touch on the patient’s diagnostic odyssey on their way to being diagnosed with a rare disease, the stats around rare diseases and how being diagnosed earlier can help patient lives. Previously siloed into multiple niches, rare diseases are now a major field with rapidly evolving rare disease patient communities and large research funding allocations. I used to a be a radiologist in the NHS and rare diseases are an interest to me too. From Fabry’s disease to Tuberous Sclerosis and Lymphangioleimyomatosis, radiologists are trained over years to seek out multi-system patterns of these rare diseases. But how if an algorithm could do this at the level of the electronic patient record? This is a really fascinating dive into the world of rare diseases. I hope you enjoy this episode.
May 30, 2022

S2 001: Hélène Guillaume, founder of Wild.AI. Femtech, Sports, Female Representation 🏄🏽‍♀️🚴🏼‍♀️

Ultra-marathoner, ice-swimmer and surfer Hélène Guillame founded Wild.AI to help women to train, eat and recover across all stages of their menstrual cycle and through all stages of life. A former quant in a Hedge fund and a data scientist, Hélène is bringing finance, data and AI skills to healthtech. In this podcast, we discuss how women are not represented equally in sports and scientific research. We touch on how women and not small men and how Wild.AI were the first company to spearhead research into the impact of covid19 vaccines on women’s menstrual cycles.  We hear how Hélène famously pitched on Dragon’s Den (UK equivalent of shark tank) and turned down 2 investment offers from the dragons. Hélène is an incredible female founder and I’m a proud angel investor in Wild.AI.
May 22, 2022

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The Healthtech VC

The Healthtech VC is Dr Fiona Pathiraja, Managing Partner at Crista Galli Ventures. As an active healthtech investor, she interviews a wide variety of guests on the podcast, including founders, investors and leaders in the healthtech space. Fiona believes in a future of healthcare that is enabled by technology and all the guests are actively working in healthtech. We hope this podcast will help create a community of likeminded people who are also working to build the future of healthtech.
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Dr. Fiona Pathiraja

Dr. Fiona Pathiraja

Dr. Fiona Pathiraja is a former NHS consultant radiologist turned investor. She is managing partner of Crista Galli Ventures, a healthtech fund backing outstanding founders across Europe. Fiona has an MBA and an MPH and is dual board certified in Radiology and Public Health. She has worked in public health, management consulting and at the UK Department of Health.

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