Female Founder Spotlight: Kati Bicknell of Kindara
Kindara was launched in Shenzhen at HAX Accelerator, and it is now one of the best-known fertility tracker apps available. One of the company’s founders, Kati Bicknell, explains how Kindara was born out of her love for humanity and frustration with conventional birth control methods. Kati was born in Burlington, Vermont and is now based in Boulder, Colorado. At SOSV, we want to highlight the amazing female founders in our network and share their stories to inspire all people working to make their innovative ideas into reality. We asked Kati a few questions about her journey.
Which women have had the biggest impact on your life and/or career?
KB: I would say that my former roommate, Virginia Cromie, had a large impact on my career. She got me the job I had at the TED conferences, and introduced me to Toni Weschler’s book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Through working at TED I became immersed in the stories of people who had been inspired by an idea, and seen that idea through to fruition, changing lives, and making the world a better place. This is the sea I was swimming in when Will Sacks and I had the idea to start Kindara. We were both so inspired by what the Fertility Awareness Method (the subject of Toni’s book) makes possible for women and couples, that we wanted that same calm confidence and clarity regarding fertility to be available to women everywhere.
My mother’s stories of her fertility struggles also impacted me greatly. I didn’t want any woman to have to suffer the way she had in the realm of avoiding pregnancy, or getting pregnant.
What are some big takeaways you have from building, funding and marketing a woman-centric product?
KB: Regarding building, funding, and marketing any product in general, it’s all about execution. Great ideas are important, but relatively easy to come by. Ideas alone will not produce results however. Through building Kindara I learned how much planning, dedication, follow through, and discipline is required to turn an idea into an actual product or company. Regarding the fact that Kindara is a women-centric company and product, I think it’s probably more difficult to talk to potential investors about fertility signs like cervical fluid, than it would be to try to sell them on a new geo-social mobile app.
Have you faced any obstacles or challenges in your career due to your gender?
KB: It’s hard to say, as I don’t have a control me, who is male, to compare my career path to. I will say that I’ve definitely had the experience of saying something in a meeting, no one responds, then a man says the same thing that I had said, and everyone is like “Wow! Great idea!”. That’s annoying.
What advice do you have for young women who are just entering the business world?
KB: Be true to your heart. I attribute Kindara’s success to the fact that I, with every fiber of my being, wanted to demystify reproductive health and fertility, and give women an sense of autonomy and peace in those areas. That desire gave me the drive to keep going in the face of all the obstacles that Kindara faced. Choose to work on something you feel passionately about. Every time I meet a woman who tells me that Kindara has changed her life, or I get an email from an old friend telling me she was googling something about how to get pregnant, and my article came up, and taught her something, or made her feel more at ease, a sense of peace washes over me, as I realize that all the hard work I put in is still paying off. I’ll always be proud of the difference Kindara has made and will continue to make in the world.