Female Founder Feature: Jill Angelo – Genneve

Jill Angelo is Founder and CEO of genneve, a digital health company for women in midlife.
Jill launched genneve in October 2015 and with early seed funding from angels and friends & family of $500K. Today, they are a 4 person team headquartered in Seattle.
The elevator pitch:
genneve is the first credible source of health information, products and health concierge services for women in midlife and menopause. Every woman 40+ will experience hormonal changes to her health, attributed to the natural transition out of reproductive years her body will go through.
As Gen-X ages into midlife and menopause, we’re not settling for the status quo of booking a traditional appt with our doctor only to hear, “just deal with it”, nor are we signing up for WebMD updates on menopause health. We’re looking for personalized ways to manage our health changes, and not just deal with them, but thrive. Live.
The founding team:
Jill Angelo is the CEO and co-founder of genneve and brings 20 years-experience from large and small tech companies to women’s health. Armed with a background in launching products from the ground-up, and scaling brands in scrappy and big ways, Jill is combining her passion for women’s health with her background in business-building in the tech industry to build the go-to solution for women in midlife and menopause.
Shannon Perry is a director of marketing, and is all-things content. She is the mastermind behind the volumes of credible women’s health content, the countless hours of physician interviews, and the vocal community that has risen up to make genneve a credible source for midlife and menopausal health. of the 4M searches per month executed on women’s midlife health, shannon is trailblazing the way to move genneve up in those ranks…and in just 6 months, she’s put genneve in the Top 10 results for over 375 women’s health searches.
Michael Atalla is leading the technology vision and platform for genneve. His background in small and large tech companies and his fanatic love of personal health data put him the right position to make genneve the “menopause tracker and data company” that fuels not only personal health management for our customers, but also benchmark and industry needs for women’s health insights. Without the data, we cannot collectively innovate on women’s health, and Michael is making that happen.
Dr. Dunsmoor-Su, MD, MCSE is our resident OBGYN and is building out the genneve Health Concierge and data intake. Her years of working with women as they mature and experience hormone-related health changes, not to mention her background in health research with a masters in clinical epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, puts her in a unique position to lead genneve’s efforts to build a menopause assessment and health tracker that not only brings new data to the users, but also helps correlate that to menopause relief and a health lifestyle.
The idea:
I was taking a 3-month sabbatical from my longtime tech employer, when I was introduced to my Co-founder Jacqui Brandwynne. I wasn’t necessarily looking to start a company, but when she and I shared our mutual interest for women’s health, sparks flew around the need for a leader in women’s midlife and menopausal health.
Early on, we got into the market with a line of feminine lubricant and hygiene products – products that Jacqui brought to the business after her years of experience creating and marketing products at Neutrogena. From our research, we knew that women wanted credible answers about menopause, not the fluff or non-answer they were getting from their doctors. So, we started publishing credible content, and quickly grew our network of publishing physicians and healthcare professionals to 175 experienced, tried and true women’s health advocates.
The market:
There are 50M women today in the US in menopause, and we’re focusing on the 22M ages 48-56 who are tech-savvy and data curious. This audience spends upward of $26B annually on traditional and non-traditional forms of menopause relief, including prescriptions, treatments, devices and over-the-counter products.
Your unfair advantage:
Our mission is to help women in midlife and menopause thrive through this time of change. There’s little-to-nothing out there, other than a few blogs and WebMD. The latest digital health solutions for women are largely geared towards women’s menstrual, pregnancy and fertility health. In fact, $1.1B was invested in femtech in 2016, and none of it for women in midlife and menopause.
We believe there is a more effective, lower cost way for women to find relief and answers for menopause symptoms using the benefits of technology, our network of providers and marketplace of healthy products. Not to mention, the community of 12,000 women we’ve already built that have become a network of support, referral and honesty for their midlife sisters.
Your biggest challenge:
genneve’s biggest challenge is funding the business. While our audience is completely underserved…and has incredible spending power, menopause isn’t sexy. As one investor told me, “you’ve got the ick factor going for you”. Finding the right investment partners that see the business opportunity and have the courage and conviction to invest in a pioneering business is the challenge we face while we raise funding for our next round of technology innovation.
Your biggest win:
When our audience jumped from 800 subscribers to 9,000 in 2 months in early 2017, we knew we were onto something, and that our vision for women’s health needed to expand. It was a truth-telling moment of listening to our customers that helped us forge ahead in building a real digital health company that will not stop at just bringing credible information and products to women, but also bring them service providers, data and insights to help them thrive through menopause.
Your role models:
Melinda Gates for her leadership in women’s health globally. We need more vocal, well-resourced women (and men) taking big bold risks to learn and improve how we serve women. Most often, health resources, guidance and procedures are created with a man’s body in mind, leaving us very little understanding of the unique changes that occur in a women’s bodies as she gracefully matures throughout life.
Your experience with FFA:
FFA pulled me out from thinking I had to go it alone. As a first-time founder and entrepreneur, you don’t see the blind spots, you don’t know if what you’re experiencing is “normal” or down-right wrong…or great. FFA offers a real-world community that’s honest, smart and experienced business leaders. FFA has become my go-to source for answers and insights on topics that I’m struggling with, not to mention a good laugh and healthy does of inspiration every now and then.
Parting thoughts:
I lived in the corporate tech environment for years, and loved thinking big, traveling the world, working with smart people. What it left me craving however, was experiencing the real highs and lows associated with making a meaningful impact on an audience of people that mean something to me. As an entrepreneur, I’m certainly getting the highs and lows…no more mediocrity, and for that, I cannot complain even when it feels super hard, lonely and like it’s never going to work out. I love seeing this entrepreneurial journey change me: I am more empathetic, I’ve learned how to problem-solve by breaking the seemingly impossible into the doable, and I love what this smart, scrappy entrepreneurial community has done to build my courage and thicken my skin.
Your website:
Connect with genneve on Social Media
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mygenneve
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mygenneve
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