37 min

458: Cofertility with Lauren Makler Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots

    • Technology

Lauren Makler is Co-Founder, and CEO of Cofertility, a human-first fertility ecosystem rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation experience.


Victoria talks to Lauren about tackling the access issues around egg freezing and donation and hoping to bring down the cost, leaving a company like Uber and starting her own business, and figuring out a go-to-market approach and what that strategy should look like.



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Transcript:


VICTORIA: This is The Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Victoria Guido. And with me today is Lauren Makler, Co-Founder, and CEO of Cofertility, a human-first fertility ecosystem rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation experience. Lauren, thank you for joining me.


LAUREN: Thanks for having me. I'm so excited for this.


VICTORIA: Me too. I want to hear all about Cofertility. Can you tell me a little bit more about the platform that you built?


LAUREN: Absolutely. Cofertility is really like you said; we're a fertility ecosystem. And at our core, we're enabling women to freeze their eggs for free when they donate half of the eggs retrieved to a family that can't otherwise conceive, providing support and education for everyone involved along the way. You know, we're serving two very different audiences. One side of our business, our Freeze by Co, is targeted at women between the ages of 21 and 40 who might be interested in preserving their fertility.


We know that really the best time to freeze your eggs, unfortunately, is when you can least afford it. And so we've really taken on this access issue and hoping to bring down the cost on that front. And then our Family by Co business is for intended parents who need the help of an egg donor to have a child, so that could be anyone from people who struggle with infertility, or gay dads, cancer survivors, et cetera.


There are a lot of people that really rely on third-party reproduction to have a family, and we think it's time to really move that industry forward, and we're doing that in a lot of ways. So that's at a high level; happy to dig in more on any part of that. But we launched in October, and things have been going well ever since.


VICTORIA: Wonderful. Yeah, I want to ask you more about...you mentioned the problem that you identified with when people who are most ready to freeze their eggs probably can't afford it. [laughs] But how did you really identify that problem and think I should start a company around this?


LAUREN: Yeah, so it's a two-part problem. I think we see a big problem on the egg-freezing side, which is truly cost. I think we know that women are starting families later than ever. For the first time in U.S. history, the average age of women giving birth now is 30, which is the highest on record. And the experimental label from egg freezing was removed in 2012, and so it's become much more mainstream for women to do it.


However, the cost to do it in the U.S. is between; I want to say, $12,000-20,000 to do it, plus yearly storage fees. And there are some women who have access to doing it through their large employer, but for the majority of people, that's just not the case. And so, for women who are really trying to prioritize their career or their education or maybe haven't found a partner yet, egg freezing can be a great option.


And certainly, it's not an insurance policy by any means, and it's not a guarantee. But studies show that if you experience infertility later in life and you did freeze your eggs, you're much more likely to have a child than not. And so we see it as a great backup option. But again, cost is just truly a huge problem.


And then, on the egg donation side, there are tons of families that rely on e

Lauren Makler is Co-Founder, and CEO of Cofertility, a human-first fertility ecosystem rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation experience.


Victoria talks to Lauren about tackling the access issues around egg freezing and donation and hoping to bring down the cost, leaving a company like Uber and starting her own business, and figuring out a go-to-market approach and what that strategy should look like.



Cofertility
Follow Cofertility on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Follow Lauren Makler on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.
Follow thoughtbot on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Become a Sponsor of Giant Robots!


Transcript:


VICTORIA: This is The Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Victoria Guido. And with me today is Lauren Makler, Co-Founder, and CEO of Cofertility, a human-first fertility ecosystem rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation experience. Lauren, thank you for joining me.


LAUREN: Thanks for having me. I'm so excited for this.


VICTORIA: Me too. I want to hear all about Cofertility. Can you tell me a little bit more about the platform that you built?


LAUREN: Absolutely. Cofertility is really like you said; we're a fertility ecosystem. And at our core, we're enabling women to freeze their eggs for free when they donate half of the eggs retrieved to a family that can't otherwise conceive, providing support and education for everyone involved along the way. You know, we're serving two very different audiences. One side of our business, our Freeze by Co, is targeted at women between the ages of 21 and 40 who might be interested in preserving their fertility.


We know that really the best time to freeze your eggs, unfortunately, is when you can least afford it. And so we've really taken on this access issue and hoping to bring down the cost on that front. And then our Family by Co business is for intended parents who need the help of an egg donor to have a child, so that could be anyone from people who struggle with infertility, or gay dads, cancer survivors, et cetera.


There are a lot of people that really rely on third-party reproduction to have a family, and we think it's time to really move that industry forward, and we're doing that in a lot of ways. So that's at a high level; happy to dig in more on any part of that. But we launched in October, and things have been going well ever since.


VICTORIA: Wonderful. Yeah, I want to ask you more about...you mentioned the problem that you identified with when people who are most ready to freeze their eggs probably can't afford it. [laughs] But how did you really identify that problem and think I should start a company around this?


LAUREN: Yeah, so it's a two-part problem. I think we see a big problem on the egg-freezing side, which is truly cost. I think we know that women are starting families later than ever. For the first time in U.S. history, the average age of women giving birth now is 30, which is the highest on record. And the experimental label from egg freezing was removed in 2012, and so it's become much more mainstream for women to do it.


However, the cost to do it in the U.S. is between; I want to say, $12,000-20,000 to do it, plus yearly storage fees. And there are some women who have access to doing it through their large employer, but for the majority of people, that's just not the case. And so, for women who are really trying to prioritize their career or their education or maybe haven't found a partner yet, egg freezing can be a great option.


And certainly, it's not an insurance policy by any means, and it's not a guarantee. But studies show that if you experience infertility later in life and you did freeze your eggs, you're much more likely to have a child than not. And so we see it as a great backup option. But again, cost is just truly a huge problem.


And then, on the egg donation side, there are tons of families that rely on e

37 min

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