Cindy Whitehead, the former CEO of Raleigh-based Sprout Pharmaceuticals and sold it for $1 billion to Valeant then left the company, is launching a new company: “The Pink Ceiling.”

“My driving passion is identifying real solutions that can become catalysts for meaningful change for women,” Whitehead said in announcing the company.

“Whether these advances break down social barriers or bust through ceilings to create new categories, our goal is to fuel the solutions that put the power of choice in women’s hands. That was the mission of Sprout with Addyi and this new venture allows me to continue to do the work I love.”

“[T]he new company is something of a cross between a VC fund, an incubator, and a consulting firm,” reports Fortune magazine, which first reported the story Wednesday.

In an interview with Fortune, Whitehead said the venture “will partner with startups that provide products or services to women, helping the fledgling businesses come to market and scale.”

Whitehead also said The Pink Ceiling could make investments in startups.

The new venture is the first for Whitehead since she sold Sprout to Valeant last year after winning FDA approval for the female libido-enhancing drug known as Addyi. She left Valeant in December.

The Pink Ceiling already has partnered with Undercover Colors, a Raleigh startup that is developing a nail polish that will help wearers detect the presence of date-rape drugs.

Whitehead has already made an investment in the company, she told Fortune.

“I understand how misunderstandings can become truths,” said Whitehead, referring to some of the negative media coverage of Addyi. “I asked them, ‘How can I help?’” She was drawn to the idea of a product that could become “a real solution to a real problem faced by women.”

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