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  • Jennifer Kruger, PhD

Caffeine Daily: The right fit at the right time

Junofem chair Simon Malpas and CEO Dr Jenny Kruger say having an independent chair is valuable for startups from the get-go. 

“I’ve been a founder and I am a founder and you’re sort of trying to make it up as you go. You don’t really know a lot of stuff and you need someone that you can trust to be a sounding board,” says Simon Malpas, chair of femtech startup Junofem and also founding CEO of medtech startup Kitea Health.

Malpas says it’s helpful for startups to have an independent chair from the outset, and particularly once a company has taken on external capital.

“When that person is independent they are acting in the company’s interests and are really trying to help you as an individual do the right thing. I’m not saying an investor director won’t do that but they bring their own perspective, if you like. Having someone that’s truly independent offers a diversity of thought and that’s really what the board is about. You want to have diversity,” he says.

Junofem was started in 2020 by South African-born researcher and former midwife Dr Jenny Kruger along with David Budgett, now CTO, who has a PhD in biomedical engineering. They’re part of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) at the University of Auckland and are commercialising Femfit, a device that helps women suffering from urinary incontinence by ensuring they do pelvic floor exercises correctly.

Published by: Caffeine Daily


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