For being the reason cauliflower is in, well, everything
New Leaf Biofuel
For getting used cooking oil out of restaurants and into your gas tank
The Honest Company
For building a brand parents can trust
Twenty-seven and pregnant with her first child, Jessica Alba had an allergic reaction to a product her mother recommended and that was marketed for use on babies. The reaction sparked memories of a childhood plagued by illnesses that included allergies, asthma, and several bouts of pneumonia. "It sort of dawned on me that I was going to bring a little person into the world, and what if she was going to have the same health issues as I did? That was terrifying to me," says Alba.
She began her research into the ingredients of everyday products that could cause reactions, and how these products could be linked to health problems.
After an attempt at lobbying for regulatory reform, and after three years of people telling her that there was no way she could create this business, Alba started Honest Company, inspired by her daughter Honor. Honest began with 17 products including home cleaning products, personal care products, and baby products. Now the company has close to a hundred products in various categories and is sold through large chains such as Target, Walgreens, CVS, and Kroger.
For being a helping hand to parents who want to raise readers
For taking the shame out of menopause
Jill Angelo co-founded digital health startup Gennev in 2016 to break taboos around menopause. The company started with personal care products and an online platform with discussion boards and educational resources, and in 2018, developed a so-called menopause assessment to help women understand where they are in the process. About 70,000 women had taken the survey as of August, Angelo says--a valuable data set in a woefully understudied field.
Now, users can also book individual telemedicine appointments with doctors and health coaches who specialize in women’s health, or get a monthly membership for continued access to providers. (While Gennev doesn’t yet accept insurance, patients can pay for appointments with FSA and HSA plans.)
With $5.3 million in funding, the company is looking to expand its services to mental and sexual health, and to use machine learning to help women predict and manage their symptoms. “Our vision is to be the women's health platform for the second half of life,” Angelo says, “starting with menopause.” -- Sophie Downes