Interview with Urszula Herman CEO and Founder at PelviFly.
Urszula is a Phd student at the Collegium Medicum of the Jagiellonian University, who has been fascinated by pelvic floor muscles for 7 years. She has devoted all her scientific works to this issue.
First she founded Force Feminite Foundation and helped female patients and later came the idea of using new technologies and cooperating with the engineers from Stanford University in Death Valley, USA.
After two years of common efforts, clinical research and cooperating with women, it was possible to work out some complex, effective and efficient solutions to problems with pelvic floor muscles.
How did the idea for Pelvifly come about and what is your vision?
I created PelviFly to improve the lives of over one billion individuals. I’ve been fascinated by women’s health in particular pelvic floor disorders for the past 10 years and devoted my full attention and research to addressing these issues. One third of all women suffer from urinary incontinence. According to my published medical research the time between first symptoms and the start of therapy is on average 9 years. This shows a huge lack of knowledge and preventive care.
Pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles. These muscles are similar to other muscles like triceps or biceps. They serve various functions such as: supporting organs whilst moving, play a significant role during pregnancy and childbirth, protect from urinary incontinence and support a healthy sexual life. The problem is that pregnancy and natural childbirth case damages to pelvic floor and above 25% – 50% of women suffer from urinary incontinence.
Research shows that women don’t have time to go for rehabilitation to the hospital, don’t have enough motivation and don’t know how to train these muscles (these are really deep muscles).
PelviFly was not a business idea. I combined my scientific passion with a huge social problem and wanted to create a solution. 10 years ago, I went to the library of the Jagiellonian University for the first time and came across an article about the problem of urinary incontinence. It seemed for me at the beginning very boring and related only to older women. Surprisingly after further study it turned out that this problem often affects also young women so I started my doctoral studies and wanted to find a solution. The objective was to bring in to the light the parameters of muscles that are not visible and to motivate women to exercise.
After few years I came up with the idea to combine training with telemedicine. Created a sensor (intravaginal probe) that allows to monitor pelvic floor muscle parameters, an application that shows their activity on a mobile screen, training platform that presents data to specialists and the full range of engaging games as training plans.
Most exciting part about owning my own business is…
To have a power and resources to change the world on a way I want. Feeling that time, I spend in the office is related to my passion and mission. My products improve and empower women’s health and life. In my opinion investment in a woman’s health is an investment in the health of the whole family.
What are 3 key lessons that you have learned as an entrepreneur?
I take now decisions very quickly, recover fast from mistakes and failures and have the ability to delegate tasks. One of the most important lesson is that only with other people we can achieve difficult goals and the most valuable assets for a company are people.
What other companies and business models do you admire?
I admire companies run by families and founders of such ventures that were able to cooperate and connect business with private relationships. It allowed them to share joint passions, time, dreams, successes and failures.
Please describe some successes and failures you have experienced as an entrepreneur
Success: In a short period of time I was able to set up a business, develop a product and attract first clients in a difficult area of telemedicine which is a very new and expensive offer for final users. My project is supported by female business angels (Black Swan Fund) – women that invested private money into the start-up and support it with their professional experience and a wide array of talents. As a company based in Poland we became a leader on the market in a telecare service for pelvic floor muscles rehabilitation. This year we started to sell outside in Austria and Italy. There are also foreigners coming to us to learn innovative solutions. Failures: I lost some very valuable co-workers as I was not able to defend against the competitors. Due to over optimism, sometimes my forecasts very not realistic, which caused some liquidity issues and argues with investors.
What advise do you have for entrepreneurs who’d like to follow in your footsteps?
Don’t be afraid to talk about your plans or ideas because that’s how you find allies and improve your own business.
Find out more about Pelvifly- WEBSITE