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  • Photo du rédacteurCharlotte Puechmaille

International Interview #1: Dr. Brittany Barreto, FemTech Focus (U.S.)

Dernière mise à jour : 3 janv. 2023

You are the Co-Founder of the FemTech Focus podcast.

With 45K listeners and more than 150 experts interviewed since 2020, this is the most popular on the international stage.

FemTech Focus is also a 501c3 non-profit entity empowering the FemTech industry through a large range of services, from community platforms to networking events and access to capital.

What’s been your professional journey so far?

Let’s learn more about you!

1. First, could you please let us know a little bit more about your career path?

Who are you and what brought you to create the FemTech Focus podcast and non-profit entity?

My background is in genetics and I am a scientist by training. I worked in a laboratory when I was pursuing my PhD in genetics in Houston. One thing I realized was that I had too much personality to work in a lab and be happy. Most of the laboratory settings are very quiet and slow-moving and I am more loud and fast-moving!

My grad school had workshops in which you could discover different career paths. One of the workshops was about start-ups and we visited start-ups in town. I loved it!

They were so cool, eating pizzas and drinking beer and talking about changing the world of healthcare using technologies. I found it awesome and that’s how my start-up journey started!

In 2016, I started a company called Pheramor, the world’s first DNA-based dating app. I fundraised about $1.3M from investors, built and scale that company.

I think that’s kind of an important story when people see what I do today with FemTech Focus. A lot of what I do is founder first. The founder is the person that is caring the most weight. They are working on a solution that’s going to change the industry. I think the way that I work in supporting founders comes from being a founder myself and knowing how hard it was.

That company (Pheramor) unfortunately closed after about 2 years, and that’s ok, because start-ups do that.

Then I worked at a Venture Fund in Texas and that’s how I discovered the investment side of things. I was a Senior Venture Associate for Capital Factory. They are the most active fund in Texas and they hired me to launch their Houston branch. I worked for them and learned how investors actually operate.

One of the best experiences that I had was that I met FemTech founders innovating for women’s health. Compared with other industries, they were innovating due to vital reasons: women were suffering and dying.

Then I started to wonder: “Wow this is so crazy, women’s health start-ups are working on such important things! Is this like a thing? Is women’s health super underserved?”.

And that’s when I started to do my own research and realize “Oh my god! Women’s health is so underserved, it needs so much help and this is unacceptable.”

Today I am obsessed with FemTech for 3 reasons:

  • Number 1, I am a scientist and I love learning about biology, anatomy and hormones.

  • Number 2, this is an activist move! This is about equality in healthcare based on sex.

  • Number 3, this is a huge market from an investor perspective! We just need investors to understand and be really passionate about it.

In 2019, I started to look for jobs in the FemTech industry but opportunities were scarce.

In March 2020, the United States went into lockdown and I decided to leverage my extra time to start a podcast and interview FemTech founders. After a few episodes, I had a few thousand listeners and I realized that was onto something. That’s how FemTech Focus was born.

"I think the way that I work in supporting founders comes from being a founder myself and knowing how hard it was."

2. You have welcomed more than 150 FemTech experts in your podcast, from Founders to Doctors and VC investors.

What struck you the most during these interviews? Any special memories?

If you listen to the first 30 episodes, you will notice that I use the word WOW a lot.

That’s because my experience has been that I feel like a woman getting introduced to her own biology for the first time. Even though I am an educated, feminist, health-interested person. And yet, every episode I have been shocked about either the current standards of care or what actually happens to your body.

One of my biggest memories is just this revelation that there are basic and important human body processes that I should know. However, no one taught them to me or talked about it. This learning journey about my female health was really important.

When I started the podcast, I also quickly realized that women’s health is an emergency, not just an opportunity. This is a crisis. I felt a bit of anger when I started to learn about these deep statistics regarding women’s health issues.

"When I started the podcast, I also quickly realized that women’s health is an emergency, not just an opportunity."

3. Menstruation, sexual education, birth control, fertility…we all know that health concerns may vary during a woman’s life as the aging process goes on…

In your opinion, which health areas should deserve more innovations in the future? Where are the current gaps in care?

One thing I am really passionate about is healthy female aging. How do we help women after menopause?

I think that there are a lot of apps, communities, and solutions for women in their reproductive years. When they reach 50, they are menopause companies with solutions for hot flashes.

But I feel like there is a lack of healthy aging communities for women over 50 so that they can talk to one another, make friends, and discuss their current issues. I also believe that we need much more diagnostic tools during this life phase.

4. The FemTech sector is starting in France.

As an example, Station F created its first FemTech Program in 2021.

What would be the key success criteria to young French start-ups?

Any advice for them?

I love this question!

First, I believe that leaders in your country need to speak up more. I found the mention of endometriosis as a health priority by your government really impactful earlier this year.

FemTech is so new that we need more government money because we are at a research & development stage.

That’s why I created a non-profit organization because the sector was so early stage

My two goals are raising awareness and supporting founders. We need basic tools to get this industry up and running - a podcast, venture fund, an accelerator, market sizes…

In the U.S., Hilary Clinton tweeted about the Center for Intimacy Justice and how Facebook is blocking Women’s Health ads. That gave such motivation to people working on the grounds like me! If Hilary Clinton tweeted about it, we know that this is important!

Second, for the founders, just connecting with the global community. FemTech is a very much international sector right now. Our headquarters are on Zoom. France is right in the center in terms of timezone!

One of the issues was the lack of transparency in this industry so entrepreneurs may make the same solutions again and again. FemTech Focus is doing interviews and creating databases so that people know who is working on what.

5. For readers who are new to FemTech, any resources that you would like to recommend to them?

Several suggestions:

6. Last, what’s your biggest motivator right now?

How do you find your impressive energy?

My biggest motivation right now is the Roe v. Wade law issue. Our new Supreme Court seems to be deciding to overturn this law.

As a consequence, each of the 50 states in the U.S. could get to decide what they want to do in their state regarding women’s abortion rights. Currently, 27 states have trigger laws which means that if Roe v. Wade law is ever overturned, they will immediately ban abortion.

Millions of women could lose access to their abortion rights. Beyond abortion, contraception could also be at risk. There is a law ready to pass that says that IUDs could become illegal as considered as “murders”. Same for miscarriages.

I am really concerned and motivated for women in the U.S. If these laws were to pass, we will probably see the consequences of women dying. Doctors won’t be able to ensure medical interventions when needed. Consequences on society could be really important for the next generations.

In terms of energy, I am a really optimistic, hopeful person. I feel that women have the right to set the world on fire because we have been treated so poorly. I am trying to lead from inspiration. Let’s make everything better!

"Women have every right to be angry. But I like to take an optimistic and hopeful approach. This battle is a marathon and we need to maintain our own health throughout this journey!"

Thanks to Dr. Brittany Barreto for her interview! We look forward to following the next projects of FemTech Focus!

Thank you for reading this interview!

Have you liked it? Let's connect on Linkedin or email at

Charlotte Puechmaille from FemTech Now

This article was initially published on FemTech Now Linkedin page on May 25, 2022.

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