In case you’ve missed it, we’ve recently been doing some round-ups of our favorite FemTech startups from some of the biggest tech hubs in Germany. We looked high and low to bring you the must-watch FemTechs in Berlin and Bavaria but of course, we couldn’t leave Frankfurt out.
Frankfurt is one of Germany's largest tech hubs. But is typically known for its Fintechs. With so many banks around and the strong local economy, it's no surprise that Fintechs are popping up all over the city.
However, it's not only Fintechs riding the wave of investments that the city has seen. Some savvy founders in the healthtech space have also decided to make Frankfurt their home.
Healthcare and healthtech have historically focused most of their time (and money) on men's health. But women are starting to steal the spotlight and bring attention to the disparities and sexism in the healthcare industry.
And in Frankfurt, some exciting new healthtech startups are creating products and services to meet women's healthcare needs.
In this article, we will explore what FemTech is, why healthtech has seen a historic bias towards men, and highlight 3 incredible startups from Frankfurt that are supporting women's health.
What is FemTech?
Before we dive into the top FemTechs in Frankfurt let's first clear up what a FemTech is.
If you're not familiar with the term FemTech, don’t worry. It's a new term that has only been around since 2016 and refers to a tech startup or company that focuses on women's health. This can be done through research, app development, product design, creating a supportive community, and more.
The term was first used by Ida Tin back in 2016 when she was founding her own FemTech Clue in Berlin.
The scope of the term FemTech has grown a lot since it first emerged. Previously it focused on women's health issues such as pregnancy and menstruation. But now FemTechs use their innovation and creativity to provide support for everything from reproductive health needs to breastfeeding and menopause.
In addition, may focus on finding treatments for diseases that are more prevalent in women (such as Alzheimer's, certain types of cancer, and autoimmune diseases). And some also look at providing support for roles that are dominated by women such as caregiving to the elderly or children.
How FemTech is combating gender bias in healthcare
Startups across Germany are looking to use FemTech as a way to improve health outcomes for women. But where did the gender bias in healthcare come from and why does it need to be improved?
Gender bias in healthcare is real. Historically inequity in medicine and medical research stemmed from women being ignored and excluded from trials. Before the 1990s, in many countries, women were not included in much of the research studies for medical therapies and drugs.
This created a real gap for healthcare professionals in understanding how diseases, drugs, and therapies can affect women. Not only are women struggling with a gap in medical knowledge and data but there has been a historic reluctance to talk about women's health issues.
Health issues specific to women such as periods, sexual health, contraception, and menopause have been considered taboo in many communities with healthcare being no exception. If we can't talk about these issues, we really can't address them and this is where FemTechs are working to bridge the gap.
FemTech, has historically been viewed as a niche market. Many FemTech startups struggled to get their first rounds of funding with investors skeptical of how much success they could attain.
But over the years, FemTech founders have quashed the doubts. And it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. With 50% of the population as your target audience, you have a lot of people to market to. As such, FemTech has now exploded with many new cutting-edge startups emerging. With increasing popularity, the global market for FemTech is forecast to reach $60 bn by 2027.
With such big bucks on the table, FemTech is increasingly grabbing the attention of venture capitalists, and we expect they will continue to disrupt the women’s health market in 2023 and beyond.
In 2023, we hope to see investment continue to flow to FemTechs. Startups focusing on plugging societal gaps are growing in number and attracting global attention. And FemTechs in Frankfurt and across Germany are using technology to address many of the health disparities that women face.
This new wave of women's health technology could bring about significant change to women's health and help women across the globe live happier and healthier lives.
The FemTech scene in Frankfurt
Within the past five years, the FemTech space in Frankfurt has slowly been growing. While finance is the predominant industry of the city, healthcare startups are starting to emerge and join the startup ecosystem.
As more and more women become aware of the importance of monitoring their health and having access to solutions designed specifically for the biological female anatomy, the FemTech scene has grown.
In 2023 there will be no shortage of opportunities to network and establish a presence in the Frankfurt FemTech world. In addition, there are several programs that focus on helping women secure funding and grow their startups.
For example, The Female Founders Accelerator in Frankfurt has been helping startup founders connect them with capable investors and providing them with outstanding mentorship from remarkable entrepreneurs.
In addition, there are several women in tech events and conferences that take place across the city and numerous meetups such as Techettes.
Ironhack holds events for women in tech across Germany, including in Frankfurt. Follow us on MeetUp to stay up-to-date on all our local events.
Frankfurt has fostered a creative and welcoming environment for women in tech which is what makes it a great location for women in tech to locate their startups. So let's take a look at some of the startups that have already established themselves in Frankfurt.
Top FemTech startups in Frankfurt to watch
FemTechs are relatively new to the Frankfurt startup scene. But there are some exciting healthtech startups leading the charge in supporting women in their health and caregiving.
Here are three of our favorite cutting-edge FemTech startups from Frankfurt that are improving health outcomes for women.
Did you know that we are facing a global nursing shortage? And more than 430 million people worldwide are already in need of care. So how are these people getting their care?
Typically unpaid care is given by women as they look after the elderly and sick relatives in their families. As such, women and girls undertake more than 75% of unpaid care work in the world.
But these women are typically neither trained nor prepared for care and end up overwhelmed in terms of time, administration, and emotions. Not only is this incredibly emotionally draining but it can also impact a woman's ability to work as her time is spent giving care.
Curaluna aims to help caregivers that often spend too much time organizing and not enough time with those in need of care.
Its product is a personal digital care assistant. The device uses inconspicuous sensors on the body of the patient that record data that can be used to improve care. The software evaluates the individual's data and gives them personalized reporting so that elderly patients can remain independent and safe at home for longer.
Aescuvest is a little different from the other startups on our list. But as we are in Frankfurt, we can’t create a startup list that doesn't at least include one startup based around finance and investing.
But how does aescuvest tie into women's healthcare? The startup is on a mission to “facilitate and enable impactful investments into medical breakthrough innovation to disrupt and improve healthcare delivery models, products, and services.”
The platform helps investors build a portfolio of healthcare startups - based on their personal investment focus.
In 2021, women received only 2.4% of venture capital funding. Startups like aescvest that help more people invest can be a great tool in redistributing funds in healthcare towards women's health issues.
Crowdfunding can be a powerful tool for women in tech. Other women often see the ideas of female founders are related to them. Whereas venture capitalists are predominantly men and less likely to see the potential of FemTech as it does not relate to their own health issues.
TFP is a major fertility clinic with locations around the world. It recently acquired the Frankfurt startup Vivaneo and now has a location in the city.
VivaNeo previously comprised 9 IVF clinics across four countries, an egg donor bank, as well as a blood diagnostic laboratory, and a dialysis center in Germany. It also held the 1 or 2 market position in market share terms in each of its markets which is what made it an attractive acquisition for TFP.
TFP has grown to enormous international success by helping women with their reproductive health and has continuously looked to startups with innovative technology to help it keep improving its services.
Now the company can boast that a TFP baby is born every 90 minutes and the location in Frankfurt is expected to see continued success in 2023.
Get ready to start your tech career in Frankfurt
Are you a woman ready to kickstart your career in tech? Sign up for one of our bootcamps and learn the skills that FemTechs in Frankfurt are searching for. Our tech school offers a range of immersive courses from UX/UI Design to Cybersecurity that are delivered in formats tailored to your needs: online or on campus, full-time or part-time. Apply today.