How Kate Ryder Went From Journalist To VC To Health Care Founder—Before Age 35

 
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Women make approximately 80 percent of health care decisions. So, why is the male-dominated industry mostly ignoring women? Kate Ryder wants to change that. 

Kate Ryder is a former Economist and New Yorker journalist, turned VC investor, turned entrepreneur. In that last role, she's responsible for Maven, a digital platform made for women that grants users direct access to healthcare support that caters to their needs, wherever they might be.

But actually, this isn't her first company. She's done this once before—and she learned a lot from the experience. Her first company was a group travel brand, founded in Singapore and catering towards Chinese tourists. It was a “total failure.” Her dad, a fellow entrepreneur told her to go get more life experience before starting something else. So she did.

The now-founder and CEO started working at Index Ventures, and that’s where she first got the idea to create a startup that helps women take charge of their own medical care.

“Women drive 80 percent of [health care] decision making. Millennial women outspend men by 70 percent. So women are the core drivers, but there were no products at all for women. I started talking to some women’s health providers, and family health providers, like nurse practitioners and doulas and lactation consultants and midwifes.”

She continues: “I said OK, we’re going to build a platform for women as young as 17 and all the way through to a woman in her 40s. So taking her through that journey where she starts thinking about birth control, but it’s hard to navigate, she might have side effects from whatever she’s taking, she might be embarrassed to ask people.

"Then eventually in her 20s or 30s if she decides to start a family, there’s a lot of healthcare that she has to deal with. It’s a complicated process, so just supporting women through that.”

But how exactly did she go from college student, to writer, to business-starting success story? Listen to the full episode of Girlboss Radio below to find out.

Words: Jerico Mandybur
Photo: Courtesy/Composite