Success Story: Program graduate Lea V. launches startup company Ava

Can you tell us more about your company Ava? How and when did you launch it?

Ava is a digital women’s health startup company. We have invented a new technology which helps couples to maximize their chances to get pregnant and to have a better journey to a family. Ava is a new sensor bracelet which detects early signs of ovulation days in advance through recognizing body signals which are associated to changes in estradiol and progesterone.

We launched Ava in September 2014. One of my co-founders had a wearable startup before, the other one a startup in the sensor space. One day they met for coffee, talked about life, trying to conceive and about the cumbersome methods women have to use to track their cycle. That’s when they had the idea of looking more into the menstrual cycle and finding out what other physiological parameters are affected by the menstrual cycle. I joined shortly after as the fourth co-founder, responsible of Marketing. We have since done our clinical research and are now soon ready to go to market.

Has the Global Entrepreneurship program help you get where you are professionally? And if so, how?

Yes. The Global Entrepreneurship Program helped me in two major ways. On the one hand, there is the program, the lectures and professors. I did learn more about the technicalities of entrepreneurship. About business plans, investors and financing. On the other hand – and I believe that’s much more important – the exposure to so many fascinating, talented, passionate and international classmates. Discussing business ideas in the dorm at night. Discussing impressive financing rounds at breakfast. Entrepreneurship becomes your life because of the people you are with all the time. Also, I found my first business partner through the Global Entrepreneurship Program.

Your classmates are the best people to talk about business ideas.

How did the Global Entrepreneurship Program help you develop your entrepreneurial skills?

Mostly through the people I was with, their mindset and hands-on attitude.

What advice would you give to future program students?

First off, start your company during the Global Entrepreneurship Program. You are only doing a 1 year master after all. Secondly your classmates are the best people to talk about business ideas: talk to them about every crazy idea you’ve ever had. Finally stay in touch with them – our reunions are amazing and truly inspirational.

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