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Founders Everywhere: Alessandra Henderson
Alessandra Henderson is the co-founder and CEO of Elektra Health, a next-gen healthcare platform on a mission to smash the menopause taboo.
Welcome to Founders Everywhere, where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at Everywhere Ventures, a global pre-seed fund supported by a community of 500 founders and operators.
Menopause…..just hearing the word makes many people uncomfortable. There is a long history of stigma against women’s health topics – while pregnancy and fertility have moved more mainstream in recent years, menopause has been a taboo topic for far too long! Around 80% of women will experience symptoms that impact their physical, emotional, and mental health. Sadly, the medical community has under-invested in supporting women going through this inevitable life change, while society has not only ignored but even been primed to make a mockery of menopause [insert hot flash joke here].
Co-founders Alessandra Henderson and Jannine Versi, together with their founding physician Dr. Anna Barbieri (OB/GYN, Mount Sinai), are changing the menopause narrative at Elektra Health. They’re building a movement to bring high-quality hormonal healthcare into the 21st century.
Alessandra has a background in consumer startups and tech, but it’s her personal health journey that led to the creation of Elektra Health. Hormonal health has had a big impact on her mood and physical body since her teen years, but the aha moment came when, in the process of freezing her eggs, the hormones impacted her eyesight. It was a wakeup call about how little she knew about hormones, and their deep impact on a woman's health from head to toe. After that experience, she became obsessed with hormonal health and women’s health, ultimately deciding to take the plunge and build Elektra Health to focus on perimenopause and menopause because it’s an area that has been underserved and neglected for far too long.
They’re on a mission to smash the menopause taboo because bottom line…..women deserve better!
What's Elektra Health’s “North Star”?
Our vision is that every woman leads a bold, fearless, and supported menopause and beyond. To achieve this, we help women not only understand where they are in their menopause journey and how to proactively manage their symptoms, but we also provide a safe space to share their story and reframe menopause from one that is often rooted in fear, and into one that is filled with opportunity, growth and health. Unfortunately, today women feel as though they just have to grit their teeth and bear it. This is simply not true! Our North Star is to build a platform that provides every woman in the world a place to learn and to take control of their health with evidence-based solutions rooted in science. We want women everywhere to have the resources, experts and the support, where menopause is no longer an embarrassing term, but just part of living a healthy thriving life. And let's not forget educating men, children, partners, employers and more – menopause isn't a "women's topic." It's an everyone movement!
What makes Elektra Health a “must-have vs a nice-to-have”?
Menopause is a fact of life that half the world’s population will experience. In 2021, too many women don’t know basic information about what’s happening and the importance of prioritizing their health during this time. Sadly, menopause is in dark ages in terms of information and data. For example, some not entirely happy, yet important stats that every woman should know:
40% of women report depression in perimenopause.
Women aged 45-55 have the highest suicide rate across any other comparable ages; women's mental health during this important life phase is absolutely critical.
80% of Americans with osteoporosis are women (10M), if we intervene during this time we can reduce that number.
Over 50% of women report painful sex post-menopause, but they don’t have to! We can help women enjoy sex again if they have a safe space with expert guidance.
It is imperative and core to women's health that women are starting to speak up and out and to demand better solutions. At Elektra, we're excited to bring science & evidence into a fragmented market, and to provide a safe space for women to connect and share stories.
What were some of your greatest challenges founding Elektra Health?
I'm a first-time female founder, which is a challenge in itself. But more importantly, while raising menopause awareness has been challenging, it's also an opportunity to reframe an outdated narrative. Is it tiring to have to educate everyone from women, to investors, to the media, and beyond? Yes! But that's exactly why it’s so important for Elektra Health to smash that menopause taboo!
How does Elektra Health inspire “customer love”?
It's important to us that we pair everything we do with:
1. Actionable guidance and tips that women can do today, giving them agency over their hormonal health.
2. Highlighting positive stories about how this can be a transformational time of life.
3. The evidence-based expertise backed by cutting-edge clinical research and advice.
Finally, we've spent a lot of time building a brand and voice that speaks to the 21st century woman. Our content is about treating women intelligently, inclusively and respectfully – with a dash of humor and inspiration. Because we all need that in our lives.
What drives you into startup battle day after day?
It all comes back to the women in our community. Anytime I read or hear a positive member review it's energizing and inspiring. I’m driven by the desire to have a positive impact on women’s health, and to making our vision come to life. And of course our incredible team – they are the true heroes of the Elektra Health story.
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