FemTech start-ups urged to join Discovery Park’s growth programme

Discovery Park, Kent’s life science community, has launched a special edition of their growth and support programme, Discovery Spark, for start-ups in FemTech and Women’s Health. 

The programme was unveiled at Kent & Medway Women’s Health Innovation Summit, which brought together NHS leaders, clinicians, patients, academics and innovators to revolutionise women’s health and close the gender health gap. The event highlighted menopause, mental health and cardiovascular care as areas of unmet need, with women twice as likely to die after a heart attack compared to men. Despite living longer, the average woman spends nearly a quarter of her life in poor health compared with a fifth of men. A lack of research and data is a driver for the gender health gap, with five times more research conducted on erectile dysfunction, which affects 19% of men, than on premenstrual syndrome, which affects 90% of women. 

Igniting the growth of early-stage businesses solving women’s health challenges, the special edition Discovery Spark programme is now open for applications. The programme offers tailored mentoring and support for start-ups, preparing founders for success in investment pitches. Companies will compete to win a support package worth over £50K, including one year of lab or office space at Discovery Park, alongside invaluable support from healthcare partners, Barclays Eagle Labs and six specialist prize partners. 

Discovery Spark is led by Dr Renos Savva, head of innovation at Discovery Park and a recognised scientist, entrepreneur and venture development lead. Speaking about the new programme, Renos said: “Discovery Spark gives early-stage start-ups the tools for healthy business foundations, providing expert advice and personal development, all designed with securing investment in mind. The UK has the largest female gender health gap in the G20, so it’s important to supercharge exciting businesses aiming to solve challenges in female health.”

Organised as three immersive sessions held between May and July, Discovery Spark takes place at Discovery Park and includes overnight accommodation for those taking part. Each session lasts for two-days, covering people, teams and brand, presentation and communication, and business metrics and markets.

Dr MaryAnn Ferreux, medical director at Health Innovation KSS, a partner of the FemTech and Women’s Health Special Edition Discovery Spark, said: “Collaboration and partnership will be key to designing and delivering revolutionary healthcare for women. The summit showcased the vibrant healthcare innovation ecosystem in Kent and Medway, from students and clinicians, to academics, to start-ups like Adora and Feebris and big companies like AWS. Discovery Spark is the next step in this journey, providing valuable support to promising start-ups improving health outcomes for women.” 

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