We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Brittany Barreto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Brittany, how do you think about risk?
When it comes to taking risks, I’m always calculated, and I thank my background in science for this thought process. The Scientific Method is the lens I use when taking a risk – I make an observation, ask the right questions, form a hypothesis, or testable explanation, then make a prediction based on the hypothesis. The test is the first step in the risk taking process, I test my predictions like someone who may dip a toe in the pool to check the temperature, once I feel it out, then I use the results to help me take a deep dive into my next venture.
What should our readers know about your business?
FemTech Focus was birthed from my calling to be an influence for social good, an ally to marginalized entrepreneurs, and an advocate for women’s healthcare. Passion doesn’t always pave a pretty path, but it will fully equip you for the destination. This is my journey to FemTech Focus. Finding Passion at Passion Parties There was a time when I hosted passion parties for sororities and stay at home moms while working as an Independent Distributor for a Home Novelties company. My scientific mind served me well in empowering guests to take ownership of their sexual health through the education of topics like pheromones, bacteria, and human anatomy. The Start of the Startup Journey I became interested in the startup scene while pursuing my PhD at Baylor College of Medicine. I did an internship with Luminostics – a startup that offered technology that made at-home urine tests for chlamydia. My role was to explore opportunities for their tests to also be used for at-home fertility testing. I did a complete market analysis on all the players in the at-home fertility testing space, including which hormones they tracked, their price, and their technology. By the end of my internship I had created a proposal on how their technology could be used to compete in the at-home fertility testing space. Pheramor and WeHaveChemistry Once again I found myself flirting with the Femtech world by way of co-founding my own startups – Pheramor and WeHaveChemistry. Pheramor was the very first nationwide DNA-based dating app, while WeHaveChemistry offered couples’ compatibility testing based on their DNA. Pheramor came with incredible highs like fundraising $1.3M in capital and gaining widespread notoriety and accolades within the tech community. Pheramor also taught me that failure is part of entrepreneurship, and in hindsight the word “failure” now sounds more like “redirection”, and ultimately an act of destiny. The FEMilar Gender Gap My entrepreneurial journey has also been a feminist journey. I got up close and personal with the cogs in the system that result in female founders getting only 4% of VC dollars. Only 4%! Even my PhD, accolades, and brilliance didn’t give me immunity from sexist comments made by male investors. I could join the Women’s March to fight change, and I did. I could join the #MeToo Movement to be heard, and I did – but there was still much more work to be done to bring more women into the startup space. In 2016 I learned that this space had a name, and her name is “Femtech”. By this time I had also taken an interest in women’s health and wellness. The dots were starting to connect. I knew everything that I had done in my career had led me to this space. FemTech offered not only the allure of science and social impact, it also offered lucrative investment opportunities. The markets are massive, yet women with immense purchasing power go underserved due to a lack of healthtech solutions. This needs to change. FemTech Focus To bridge the gap in the untapped FemTech market I decided to launch FemTech Focus – a nonprofit that brings awareness, resources, and opportunity to the FemTech industry. To mobilize our mission we provide a database of FemTech companies and investors, educational accelerators, and masterclasses. To expand our reach even further we have also launched the FemTech Focus podcast- a medium that provides an outlet for FemTech thought leaders to reach ambitious audiences in the women’s health and wellness space.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m notorious for taking long walks with my two rescue dogs, Quark and Trypsin – I love the parks here in Houston, so my friends know when they come visit to bring their most comfortable sneakers!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a special appreciation for Dr. Julie Hakim, the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at FemTech Focus. It is her vision for women’s healthcare and her undeniable passion and intellect for the subject that drives me as the CEO to continue to trail blaze a path for future leaders who understand women’s health is everyone’s health.