Seven women-led healthcare startups lined up against a panel of windows inside the Full Frame Theatre in Durham during a cocktail reception for the Kayo Roundtable: Women in Healthcare Investing event Tuesday night.

Since the focus of the event was around women investing in healthcare startups, it was fitting to have seven different representations of the industry exhibit their products too. Each startup shared an underlying theme though—they’re all working to break down boundaries and barriers between patients and doctors, in addition to being led by women.
This theme is relevant because data is showing that more women-driven startups might make for a new and better healthcare industry. A digital health venture fund, Rock Health, released a report last year that showed more healthcare startup success when women are on the leadership team.

Eighty-five percent of dying digital health startups don’t have a single women on their executive teams and all digital health startups that closed down in the year studied were led by male CEOs.

These statistics indicate that women are good for business. Seven of the top 10 Fortune 100 healthcare companies have a board with at least a quarter of its members female.

Venture capital hasn’t seen the same success, though. Only 10 percent of partners (those making final investment decisions) in digital health investment firms are women and 75 percent of those firms lack a single female partner.
The Kayo Conference Series is working to change that. In 2013, the series was formed by Kayo Advisory, a financial services firm in Charlottesville, Va. Kayo promotes and supports women in finance roles through a series of three conferences.

The Women in Healthcare Investing conference is one of them. Held on the American Tobacco Campus on Tuesday, it included a panel and Q&A with five female executives in startup investing, banking or advisory roles—Cindy Whitehead of The Pink Ceiling (former CEO of Sprout Pharmaceuticals), Cody Nystrom of SJF Ventures, Kapila Ratnam of NewSpring Capital, Theresa Sexton of Claritas Capital, Mara Huntingtonof Square 1 Bank and Amy Risseeuw of Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton. The discussion was not open to the media, but an open reception and exhibition followed.

The seven presenting firms:

  • Axial Exchange
  • Camras Vision
  • CivaTech Oncology
  • Global Specimen Solutions
  • ColoWrap
  • Mevii

Read the full ExitEvent report, including snapshots of each company, at:

Note: ExitEvent is a news partner of WRAL TechWire.