Founder of the month: femfeel
Founder of the month
What does your company stand for?
With femfeel, we strive for a world in which menopause is a woman’s second flowering! That’s why we’re passionately working on a digital platform that supports women in mastering this phase of their lives in a self-determined way, free of complaints.
The foundation for self-determination is certainty. Often, when their bodies start to change, women don’t yet know that the cause could be the hormonal changes of menopause. That’s why we have developed a self-test that women can use to gain initial clarity. A hormone test and menopause advice, which we offer via our platform, complement the service.
The core of femfeel is our app, which helps women integrate healthy habits into their daily lives. We focus on the triad: nutrition, exercise and emotional balance. It has been scientifically proven that healthy habits in these three areas can not only alleviate menopausal symptoms, but also increase menopausal well-being. In the app, a woman receives a program tailored to her with specific tasks in the three areas. This guides her in forming new routines and doing something good for herself every day.
In addition to the app, we offer women a space to share experiences, as well as information and inspiration with our community and our regular events.
Listen to the conversation with Marie and Janna in the podcast of KIT-Gründerschmiede on Spotify.
Where and how did you get the bright idea to found femfeel?
Our mothers’ menopause was the starting point for our journey with femfeel. During their menopause, we noticed how few information and support services were currently available for women, and so we began to look into the topic.
We started with numerous conversations and research. We quickly realized: Our mothers are not alone!
Through our design thinking background, we iteratively prototyped, improved, discarded, and redeveloped various ideas until we finally came up with the idea for our app. We are still in constant exchange with our (potential) users and are constantly expanding our offering.
How did the founding team come together?
Since day 1 of our studies (industrial engineering at KIT) we are inseparable. While we were friends, travel buddies and study partners in the first semesters, we started to work together in common jobs and projects at the beginning of our master’s degree.
Where do you see the hurdles on the way to a successful company? Where did you get support?
There is no one right way to start up – no one can tell you how to do it right. At the beginning, we thought there was someone who could tell us what exactly the most sensible next step is now. From the very beginning, we have been in close contact with experienced founders and experts in individual fields. Learning from experience inspires us and often makes us faster. But in the end, it is we who decide and know what is right for femfeel. We have learned to rely on our gut feeling.
What was your biggest challenge during the start-up phase?
There is no one challenge. There are new ones every day, which makes it incredibly exciting, but often also very demanding. We now know what it means when people always say “founding is an emotional roller coaster”. To deal with this, we started investing in our personal development early on. Personal coaching, we call it “couples therapy”, helps us to proactively prepare ourselves personally for upcoming challenges.
Has Corona had an impact on your startup/industry so far, and if so, what?
Without the Lockdown, I don’t think we would have ever started founding while in college. At the beginning of the first Corona Lockdown in March 2020, our exams were cancelled – which meant freed up time for us. The topic of menopause had been floating in the back of our minds for a long time, so we jumped at the chance and started reading up on the topic of menopause on the first day of the lockdown.
What qualities do you think a founder should have?
The desire to get to grips with new tasks, areas and problems, to understand users and to learn constantly. Curiosity helps us to be incredibly excited every day about what new tasks and challenges are coming our way.
What qualities do you think a founder should have?
Start before you think you are ready!
This applies to the start with the foundation as well as to small daily tasks. We prioritize speed over perfectionism – which is not always easy.
It’s easy to see what doesn’t fit yet in current prototypes, newsletters, articles, Instagram posts (…). We wanted to do things “right” for a long time. A crucial mindset shift for us, was to not think if it’s the right thing to do. So with new ideas, we ask ourselves “Is is safe enough to try” – and very many things are “safe enough to try”.
What are your plans for the future? What are your next big milestones?
We are striving for a world where menopause is a woman’s second flowering. We will play a significant role in making menopause an issue, overcoming the negative stigma of this phase of life, and ensuring that every woman goes through her menopause empowered and informed.
Our next milestone is the first round of funding, which we hope to close in the middle of the year, in order to continue growing with femfeel.
Thank you for answering the questions!
You can also listen to the conversation with Marie and Janna in the KIT-Gründerschmiede podcast on Spotify.