Lea von Bidder

CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT - AVA SCIENCE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA
Ava Logo
Her mission is to revolutionize women’s health – and with her first breakthrough innovation, a cycle-tracking bracelet, she managed to help men as well.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN

Mention the phrase “Swiss Startup”, and Ava, the Internet of Things enabled women’s fertility tracker co-founded by Lea Von Bidder inevitably enters the discussion. In the footsteps of other successful Swiss predecessors of technology transfer, Ava manages to combine state-of-the-art patented technology with consumer goods manufacturing to deliver a health-tech product that reflects the growing tendency for women to pursue their careers for longer prior to having children.  

Ava has been a phenomenal success in startup-land, raising US$42.3 million over 3 rounds of fundraising since 2014. The market potential is huge: according to Technavio’s latest report, the global fertility services market is expected to exceed US$21 billion by 2020.

Von Bidder has earned herself a permanent space on the start-up scene and has now set up their US offices in San Francisco, where she resides. She has been interviewed about the difference in mindset between Switzerland and the US, where she has said The US-scene is extremely dynamic and fast. And the visions are very big. There you have to drop your Swiss restraints.”

Hear more about her journey from Zurich to Silicon Valley at WORLDWEBFORUM 2019.

WHAT IS AVA ?

Ava is a cycle-tracking sensor bracelet that monitors a woman’s fertility or pregnancy in real time. Ava measures nine physiological parameters including pulse rate, breathing rate, heart rate variability, and temperature. Because Ava measures physiological parameters that are directly impacted by the reproductive hormones estradiol and progesterone, it can detect a five-day fertile window in a woman’s cycle in real-time. Users simply wear the Ava bracelet at night and sync it with the Ava app in the morning, avoiding the hassles, mess and invasiveness of other fertility tracking methods like ovulation strips and BBT thermometers. Regulated as a class 1 medical device by the FDA, the Ava bracelet was proven in a recently concluded clinical study at the University Hospital of Zurich to detect an average of 5.3 fertile days per cycle—in real time—with 89 percent accuracy.

HOW DOES AVA WORK SPECIFICALLY?

Ava uses completely unprecedented technology for tracking a woman’s cycle. While the user is sleeping, Ava collects data on nine physiological parameters that are impacted by changing levels of the hormones estradiol and progesterone. This data is fed into an algorithm that can detect a user’s fertile window. Unlike other methods, Ava provides insight that is real time rather than retrospective, and based on feedback from a woman’s body, rather than historical or average cycle length data.

The parameters that Ava tracks are: temperature, resting pulse rate, breathing rate, sleep, movement, heart rate variability, heat loss, perfusion, and bioimpedance.

In addition to fertility tracking, Ava also provides health insights on sleep, stress levels, and heart rate. During pregnancy, users can switch to a pregnancy monitoring setting to get additional features such as weight tracking, and week-by-week information about their changing body and growing baby.

HOW IS AVA DIFFERENT THAN OTHER FERTILITY TRACKING METHODS?

Ava detects more fertile days than other methods of cycle tracking. Ava is clinically proven to detect 5.3 fertile days in real time. Urinary LH tests only detect a maximum of 1 – 2 fertile days; combined estrogen and LH tests only detect a maximum of 4 fertile days; and the temperature method detects 0 fertile days but rather only confirms after the fertile window is already closed.

Ava uses multiple parameters to detect the fertile window, rather than just a single parameter. This leads to more robust and accurate fertility detection. Unlike other cycle monitoring methods, which are disposable or single-use, Ava is designed to be a lifetime partner in health, providing information about sleep, physiological stress, and resting pulse rate. It can continue to be used during pregnancy.

TICKET

BIOGRAPHY

Lea is the co-founder and CEO of Ava Science, Inc., creator of the first fertility tracking sensor bracelet. In her role with Ava, Lea has helped raise more than $10M in VC funding and expand product sales through the US and Europe since launching in July 2016. Under her leadership, Ava has garnered overwhelming customer reviews and generated buzz among top-tier media outlets, from USA Today, Forbes, Salon and Wired to Shape, Women’s Health, the Today Show and the BBC. Named one of Forbes “30 Under 30” entrepreneurs for 2017, Lea has spoken at industry conferences including CES and TechCrunch Disrupt and written several articles on issues related to female entrepreneurs and innovations in digital health for women.

Prior to Ava, Lea co-founded L’inouï, a premium chocolate production and retail chain in Bangalore, India. She also spent time working for the marketing division of Procter & Gamble in Frankfurt and for a strategy-consulting boutique in Paris. Lea holds a Master’s degree in global entrepreneurship from EM Lyon in France, Zhejiang University in China and Purdue Krannert University in the USA. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of St.Gallen and HEC Montréal in Canada.