St Edmund’s Student Co-Founds First Femtech Society at a European University


St Edmund’s College student Emily Otterbeck (2020), with her coursemate Lesley Farrah from the MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise, has recently co-founded the Cambridge Femtech Society.

The society – the first femtech society at a university in the UK and Europe – aims to promote knowledge-sharing around issues in science, research and healthcare systems relating to women’s health and to create a student network in the emerging “femtech” industry – the intersection of women’s health and technology innovation.

“After a year of discussing femtech and debating the huge, unmet needs we’ve all heard of (and experienced) when it comes to women’s health issues, we realised there should be a dedicated space for students to engage in these questions. Many fellow students (of all genders) we’ve spoken to throughout this year are not aware of the existence of femtech as an emerging field but get very excited when they hear about the innovations and opportunities that exist. The biggest problem we see at the moment is the systemic-level lack of awareness of the issues surrounding women’s gynaecological, sexual and mental health, and we think increasing engagement at university-level can really help boost research and innovation in this space.” – Emily Otterbeck (2020), Co-Founder, Cambridge Femtech Society

The co-founders, Emily and Lesley, believe student engagement in the femtech community will grow in the upcoming years and will be a crucial aspect of raising awareness of the field among researchers, innovators, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“We’d love for this to be the starting point of a larger student-body movement with similar societies starting at other universities as well. We think student engagement and education can improve awareness from the ground up and aid both (much needed) academic research and innovation in the femtech space. We want the engagement to be inclusive of all people and, as research shows, we believe highlighting issues in women’s health and increasing studies on female biology will help both sexes and lead to discoveries which improve health outcomes for all.” – Lesley Farrah, Co-Founder, Cambridge Femtech Society

The enterprising, inclusive, and innovative attitudes Emily and Lesley exemplify through this exciting new venture are emblematic of what makes St Edmund’s College and Cambridge University such a unique and incredible place to study and work.

You can follow the Society on Facebook: Cambridge Femtech Society, Instagram: @cambridgefemtech and LinkedIn: Cambridge Femtech Society for educational femtech content as well as updates on talks and other events hosted by the Society. Membership is free and open to all!

Emily (2020) would particularly like to hear from members of the St Edmund’s College alumni community who are interested in these topics, and encourages you to reach out to the society: They would love to discuss these issues, learn and understand how to best help students interested in entering this space.