MINNEAPOLIS, MN (March 18, 2020) – The second Female Founders Competition, a global contest to identify and fund top women entrepreneurs leading tech startups, has chosen Odonata Health as a U.S. deeptech company finalist to compete for its winning deeptech spot and $1 million in funding. The Female Founders Competition is organized by Microsoft’s venture fund M12, with VC partners Mayfield and Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures, to help create a more equitable playing field for innovative female founders.
“The Female Founders Competition applications were impressive, and we were blown away by the technical expertise, customer-centricity, and passion from these founders,” said M12 Managing Director Tamara Steffens. “As women continue to deliver higher revenue than their male counterparts, it’s a business imperative to invest in women building technical companies.”
“As a finalist, I am incredibly excited and honored to be a part of such a talented and driven group of entrepreneurs” said Odonata founder and CEO, Ann Holder.
Finalist Odonata develops proprietary, wearable sensor technology to non-invasively acquire maternal and fetal biometric data, including critically important fetal ECG and heart rate, which are analyzed using AI/deep neural networks developed in conjunction with the AI technology the company has licensed from Mayo Clinic.
Odonata’s lead clinical partner is the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Paul Friedman, chair of the Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, along with his team, developed the algorithm associated with the Odonata technology to address a significant unmet need in maternal-fetal health. The data gathered by the sensors allows clinicians to identify fetal distress and make informed decisions for protecting the health and wellbeing of both baby and mother. Odonata’s products target the high rate of maternal morbidity and mortality in the world, including in the U.S., where according to the Centers for Disease Control, over 700 women die during childbirth each year.
“Monitoring systems used in labor and delivery are based on antiquated technologies developed in the 1960s,” said Holder. “These outdated systems are bulky, hardwired, low-tech and can produce inaccurate or incomplete data. These products haven’t kept up with technology advancements, including the application of advanced AI to maternal and fetal data. Odonata believes these advanced data tools have great promise for applications related to this important segment of our population.”
Holder is an experienced healthcare entrepreneur who spent time at Medtronic in a number of operational roles. To date, she has raised $1.5 million for Odonata and plans to raise additional capital this year to advance the development of the company’s first product. A large round of capital raising is planned concurrent with FDA clearance and initial product launch. Odonata’s product will be launched into the large and growing $2B+ global market for maternal and fetal monitoring.
About Odonata Health, Inc.
Odonata Health is dedicated to improving the experience and outcomes of pregnant women via novel technology that accurately measures maternal and fetal vital statistics during pregnancy, labor and delivery. The company is committed to improving maternal and fetal health outcomes and working to ensure access to its technology in traditionally under-served communities. Odonata Health products are not yet cleared by the U.S. FDA.