Today's Entrepreneur: Claire Tomkins

Kristin Karaoglu · May 28, 2019 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4e0d

There is no such thing as failure when you are learning and growing

Today's entrepreneur is Claire Tomkins, founder and CEO of Future Family, a startup helping women and couples start and expand their families using IVF and egg freezing.
Claire is passionate about women's health and fertility based on her personal journey.  Her experience going through fertility treatment and her struggle to start a family inspired Claire to found Future Family.
Previously, Claire was Director of Product Marketing at SolarCity (now TESLA), one of the largest consumer finance businesses in the industry. Prior to her role at SolarCity, she was on the founding team of two global non-profits.
She holds an M.S. and PhD from Stanford University in Management Science & Engineering and has been recognized as a National Science Foundation Fellow and a Kauffman Fellow. 

Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur? 

I’ve always been on a mission to build things that will impact others -- that mission has simply evolved over the years. I developed my entrepreneurial skills as a founding team member at NextGen and the Carbon War Room, two companies I was passionate about growing because of their focus on fighting the detrimental effects of climate change. I then joined SolarCity as Director of Product & Partner Marketing, the largest residential solar company in the United States, where I was on the team during the IPO in 2012 and the hyper-growth period that ensued.

Like my previous roles, my decision to launch Future Family was largely motivated by the mission -- this time a personal experience. All three of my kids were born via IVF and it wasn't an easy experience. I wanted to fix that.

What are your favorite startups?

There are so many startups doing great things. Four I love -- and they are all very different -- are Gusto, Stripe, One Medical and Kindbody.

Why did you start your current company?

When launching Future Family, the fuel to my fire was my own battle against infertility. My husband and I struggled to get pregnant for over a year, and we eventually made the choice to undergo several rounds of IVF treatment, costing over $100K. The process gave us our beautiful daughter, Natalie, but was expensive and incredibly isolating. Through my first-hand experience, it was blatantly clear that the current system of fertility care needed an upgrade.

The number of women and couples seeking fertility help continues to climb as people wait to have families later in life -- but in countries where there is better access to services, it's already 10% of the population. I started Future Family to help solve this challenge.

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

The femtech market, slated to reach $50B by 2025 (according to CB Insights), is one of the fastest growing healthcare markets in America and at the center of it all is fertility. The industry is extremely rewarding to be a part of.

That being said, there are lots of challenges. We are now having more of a public discourse in the media about fertility. Investors are seeing this as a big market.  In the early days, it was frustrating to face endless questions about market size and growth opportunity. But that has changed.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

I know many selfless entrepreneurs who work nonstop, but forget to make time for themselves. I’ve learned your work is more powerful when you take time to make sure you are happy and carve out time for yourself.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur? 

To build trust from your team and your customers, you need to be transparent with them. 
It’s crucial to clearly articulate your goals and measure where you are at during each step of your company’s growth.
There is no such thing as failure when you are learning and growing -- don’t let it get you in a cycle of self-doubt.

What’s exciting you lately with your work at Future Family?

Future Family was founded to remove two of the biggest barriers to fertility treatment: cost and complexity. I’m so proud to say we’ve implemented cutting-edge financing products, and now we’re expanding to help consumers earlier in their process.

To do this, I’m excited to share that this week we introduced a new membership program to help people get started on their fertility journey with IVF and egg freezing. Membership includes sessions with a dedicated Fertility Coach to work through questions and develop a personal plan, as well as doctor matching, a personal pricing plan, and a digital dashboard to manage everything in one place.

The membership offering expands our service to reach people in the earliest stages of their journey – when they experience maximum uncertainty, are seeking clarity to move forward, and before they engage a fertility doctor or clinic. In fact, over 70% of users on our platform come to us before they’ve seen a fertility doctor, and we consistently hear that there’s nowhere to “get started.” Our goal with Membership is to provide an easy way to get started online.

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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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Future Family

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We offer affordable subscription plans for IVF and egg freezing, with on-demand medical support through Concierge Care. With Future Family, women, men and couples experience stress-free fertility.

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Claire Tomkins

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