The online-based company Denovo Fertility
, which uses a coaching model to enhance women's fertility, was crowned the Best of Boot Camp winner at Ann Arbor SPARK's 2022 Entrepreneur Boot Camp Celebration
. The company won a $25,000 grand prize at the event.
Jessica Preston, a medical physician's assistant in private practice for 20 years and Denovo Fertility's founder, says the award will make a huge impact on many women's lives. She notes that one in five women can't get pregnant, and one in eight of those women seek out some sort of help to get pregnant.
"In our customer discovery, we found that appropriate community support was the number one need for those who want to get pregnant," she says. "The number two thing we heard is that women feel so alone, and it can indeed be a lonely experience."
Preston says she's capitalizing on her medical career, in which she's been "extremely successful" in helping women get pregnant, and her own prior background in biochemistry. Denovo Fertility is based on a coaching model and her team includes other health care providers, such as a nutritionist. Women are supported in several ways, such as being taught vital "lifestyle hacks" like how to use the first 30 minutes of the morning to set up increased fertility, or how to use a custom line of supplements for additional support.
"We coach a lot on how important it is to support a healthy body and create the right morning routines," Preston says. "That first part of your day can be incredibly impactful for your hormones, for your health, for your mood, and even for how you're going to sleep the next night."
Preston had zero business experience, and was going to bootstrap the venture herself, before being referred to the SPARK boot camp. She's in discussions right now about how to use the funds from the win. She's considering investing in cybersecurity for the business and insuring her team members. She's also planning to hire a chief financial officer.
"I'm speaking with advisors about how to best focus the funds and it seems like the financial vision and cybersecurity is a fast-growing piece of the conversations," she says. "We don't know exactly what the future will look like for us, but we're glad we've got help getting all of our ducks in a row."
Jaishree Drepaul is a freelance writer and editor currently based in Ann Arbor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Denovo Fertility.