Maternova

Providence
Website
Founded: 2009
Employees: 1
Revenue 2010: $75,000
Revenue 2011 (projected): $210,000

An array of low-cost medical devices and tools can help doctors and midwives deliver babies safely and improve newborn care, but people in the developing world often don't have access to them. Meg Wirth started Maternova with the idea of becoming a clearinghouse for the best and cheapest medical devices. Wirth has a long career in maternal health, including working on the Rockefeller Foundation’s Health Equity team and co-authoring the U.N. Millennium Project’s report on the subject. "There is a huge gap in aggregating all of this in a utilitarian way," says Wirth, "so we decided to create a marketplace for these tools." The company has received funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the antipoverty SEVEN Fund. Maternova’s business plan involves selling to governments as well as globetrotting clinicians in countries that include Haiti, Honduras, India, and Zambia. The products are often simple but necessary, such as a solar-powered headlamp to assist in childbirth and a color- based diagnostic test for anemia in mothers. "We are just making real what already exists," Wirth says. —JS

 
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