Judges and Participants in Fast-Pitch Competition

Clockwise: Denise Pines, FemAging Project Co-Founder, Dr. Shoma Datta-Thomas, Robotic GYN Specialist, Weill Presbyterian Hospital and Dr. Jane van Dis, Assistant Profession, Obstetrics & Genecology, University of Rochester, discussing Beyond Fertility:

(L-R: Connie Harrell, Regional President, Keiretsu Forum SoCal and Jesse Draper, Founding Partner, Halogen Ventures)

Fast Pitch Competition Winners Focused on Products/Solutions for Women Ages 40+ Announced

We have created a space where we can bring investors and innovators together in a collaborative, rather than competitive environment.”

— Denise Pines, Co-Founder, FemAging Project

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, October 8, 2021 / — Hundreds of individuals interested in FemTech tuned into “The FemAging Era: Advancing Women’s HealthTech Innovation and Investment” online event on Thursday, October 7, 2021to hear founders, investors, physicians, innovators and entrepreneurs discuss the gap in HealthTech for women ages 40+ and review solutions that are currently being developed to address the needs of this population. The event was hosted by The FemAging Project and Keiretsu Forum SoCal. Additionally, seven finalists were selected to participate in the fast pitch competition focused on products/solutions designed for this demographic to an elite panel of judges, competing for prizes and professional services, as well as a one-on-one virtual meeting with an investor. Winners of the fast pitch include the Grand Prize Thermaband, ; Runner Up, Cosm Medical, and the People’s Choice awardee, Aquafit Medical,

Says Denise Pines, Co-Founder of The FemAging Project, “Today, everyone is a winner because we showcased a variety of solutions from skincare to surgical equipment designed for perimenopause and menopausal women. And this is the first step in normalizing an experience that every woman will go through.”

Furthers Connie Harrell, Regional President, Keiretsu Forum SoCal Region, “This partnership with The FemAging Era Project has been enlightening and has encouraged me to direct some focus on this sector. With 41% of the $82M invested in companies through 2020 by Keiretsu members going to Life Sciences, I am excited to see what we can accomplish through 2021.”

Truly, The FemAging Project with Keiretsu have made huge strides in increasing awareness for the gap in women’s health. By providing a platform for entrepreneurs to present their products and solutions and be given feedback and guidance from a stellar group of judges is highly unusual—and commendable.

Judges for the pitching competition included:
• De’Havia Stewart, part of the early-stage investment team at Softbank’s Opportunity Fund, which is a fund dedicated to investing into founders that identify as Black, Latino/a, and or Native American.
• Ananya Chandra, Managing Partner of Innopact – an early-stage investor in high-impact technology startups across emerging markets. She also leads Women Prosperity Lab, a startup ecosystem enabler backing the future of womentech.
• Sasha Spellman, Director of Startup Collaboration at AARP Innovation Labs. AARP’s inaugural innovation lab is the Hatchery – a 10,000+ square foot structure in the heart of Washington DC, where breakthrough innovation is fostered, incubated and accelerated.
• Alice Zheng, Principal at Rhia Ventures. Alice has been a women’s health enthusiast throughout her career spanning global health, clinical medicine and the private sector.
• Maria Velissaris, Founding Partner at SteelSky Ventures, which invests in companies that improve access, care and outcomes in women’s healthcare;
• Ankita Vashistha, Founder and CEO of the first venture capital fund for Women Entrepreneurship – Saha Fund ( and StrongHer Capital (, focusing on women led/focused technology startups.
• Kate Brodock, Founding Partner of the W Fund and CEO of Women 2.0, one of largest global brands focused on gender and inclusion in startups.
• Stephanie Cherrin, Principal at Porsche Ventures where she leads the team in investments across automotive, mobility, sustainability and intelligent enterprise startups.
• Madhuri Vegaraju, startup advisor and software engineer at MCG Health/HearstLabs with over 15 years of experience building healthcare applications and managing high-performing talent by innovating creative solutions with a focus on implementing highly available, scalable, and distributed services to achieve organizational objectives.
• Caitlin Wege, Partner at MooDoos Investments, a private family-owned investment fund that invests in early-stage companies throughout the US and Canada

Concludes Pines, “We have created a space where we can bring investors and innovators together in a collaborative, rather than competitive environment. In early 2022 we will launch the FemAging Intelligence Platform. This unique premium product will feature insights on women’s healthtech innovation, investment activity, feature entrepreneurs working in this space and provide the community with opportunities for connection, engagement and connection. Through these efforts, we hope to serve as a catalyst for the health, wellness and innovation needs for the over 53 million women in the United States aged 40-65 who have largely been ignored.”
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Editor’s Note: Denise Pines and Fard Johnmar, Co-Founders of The FemAging Project are available for interviews. Please contact Ginger Campbell at the information provided below.

About Keiretsu Forum Southern California
Keiretsu Forum Southern California is a region within a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists, business leaders, serial entrepreneurs, universities, and corporate/institutional investors.

Keiretsu Forum is a worldwide network of capital, resources and deal flow with 52 chapters on 3 continents. Keiretsu Forum members invest in high-quality, diverse investment opportunities. Since Keiretsu Forum’s founding in 2000, its members have invested more than $1 billion in 950+ different companies from a myriad of industries, including software, telecommunications, health/life sciences, biotech, real estate, mobile applications, Internet, consumer products and other high growth areas.

About The FemAging Project
The FemAging Project provides health and tech industry leaders and investors with research and education that helps drive global innovation focused on the health and wellness needs of women ages 40+. Learn more about the Project at

Ginger Campell
Snap Productions
3232901182 ext.

The FemAging Era: Advancing Women’s HealthTech Innovation and Investment online event with founders, investors, physicians, innovators and entrepreneurs

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