Biz accelerator in Northwest Arkansas will focus on women’s health

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 469 views 

Natalie Shew, from left, April Roy and Elizabeth Prenger are the founders behind FemHealth Founders.

Northwest Arkansas tech/health innovation hub FemHealth Founders (FHF) disclosed details Thursday (Sept. 8) for its inaugural accelerator program focused on women’s health and wellness.

Five startups will be chosen for the inaugural cohort, and each will receive a $10,000 non-dilutive grant, made possible in part by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.

To be considered, startups must be women-led and based in the U.S. Selected participants will be required to travel to Northwest Arkansas for a portion of the program to engage in in-person programming.

Applications will be accepted starting in November. The eight-week program will run in the spring of 2023. More information is available at this link.

FemHealth Founders is working with Oklahoma City-based business accelerator StitchCrew to launch the program. StitchCrew is an independent organization that supports women and entrepreneurs of color.

“The time to invest in women’s health is now,” StitchCrew co-founder Erika Lucas said in a statement. “We are proud to partner with FHF and the Walton Family Foundation to support women entrepreneurs building solutions that improve care delivery, address stigmatized areas and deliver culturally sensitive and tailored care options for women.”

At the end of the program, participants will have the opportunity to meet an extended network of investors and industry leaders during a founders retreat in Bentonville.

April Roy, Natalie Shew and Elizabeth Prenger are the founders behind FHF. Its goal is to develop a more welcoming ecosystem for female-led tech/health companies to launch, grow and stay in Northwest Arkansas.

“About 1 percent of healthcare innovation and research is invested in female-specific conditions, beyond oncology. That number should be far higher,” Shew said. “We’re excited to work with like-minded organizations to propel women founders in the heartland who want to improve and expand women’s health and wellness solutions.”

StitchCrew and FemHealth Founders are hosting an event on Sept. 27 at The Collaborative in Bentonville to share various funding options for women-founded startups and additional details about the upcoming accelerator program. Speakers include Lukas, Elise Alexander (AcreTrader), Charu Thomas (Ox) and moderated by Jessica Mathews (Fortune).

More information and registration details are available at this link.