About Maternova

Maternova is the first global marketplace for ideas and technologies for global health

Philllipe Blanc photo

Think of us as an Amazon-type platform but for global health technologies. We make it easy for doctors, nurses and midwives and the organizations that equip them to track innovation and to buy technologies and kits to use overseas. We aggregate trusted technologies for those that equip health workers include governments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, humanitarian and relief groups, the UN and private hospitals and clinics. Our focus is on 'frugal' tools and protocols that save lives in childbirth but we are rapidly expanding to a range of other global health products.

We will accelerate the speed at which better, faster, cheaper technologies and ideas are made accessible through a pioneering, efficient e-commerce marketplace.

Who is the audience?

Our audience is the frontline health worker and all organizations, policymakers, and individuals who support her. We also research and equip obstetricians, nurses and midwives.

In their fight to save women’s lives, health workers are in need of information, tools, technologies, skills, and peer connection. To maximize resources and empower their efforts, Maternova is building a portal for innovation in global maternal and neonatal health.

Our aim is the creation of a go-to site for connection, technology, and cutting-edge thought in global maternal health. The field has already welcomed medical, public health, design, and business professionals, but new groups-- industrial designers, entrepreneurs, engineers-- are increasingly interested in the power of simple innovations to change lives. Maternova seeks to build on these seismic changes, to amplify their positive effect on women and their families. Aggregation is the key. Our e-commerce marketplace aggregates innovations in one single place online.

What is Maternova all about?

We are about moving maternal and newborn care into the 21st century. We are a mission-driven for-profit looking to disrupt the development industry, remove red tape and get innovative technologies directly to those who can use them to save the lives of mothers and infants.

Two very basic questions guide our work.

  • What effective, low-cost tools (in development or on the market) can save mothers' and newborns' lives in low-resource settings?
  • How can these tools be accessed and distributed more rapidly?

Two goals core to our mission derive from these three questions:

  • track innovations and accelerate access to them
  • pack & sell low-cost technologies

What is your Quality Policy?

Maternova is committed to the distribution of quality devices and products for mothers and newborns. Top management is committed to comply with applicable requirements and maintain the effectiveness of the Quality Management System by providing all employees with effective training, tools and resources. Maternova is registered with the Food and Drug Administration and is a GMP certified facility.

Why was Maternova launched?

A terrible fact: in the 21st century developing world, pregnancy remains a leading cause of death amongst women of childbearing age. Unfortunately, despite sharp advances in communications technology, the maternal health field lacks an efficient means of rapid, efficient knowledge sharing. Clearly there is an urgent need for a discrete place where innovations in maternal health can be tracked and promoted, and voices of frontline providers can be heard. Enter Maternova, answering this need with a fresh approach, away from the rote of academic journals, meetings and conferences.

What recognition has Maternova received?

We are riding a wave of momentum. In 2010 we were an 'early winner' in a a contest by Changemakers/Ashoka contest called "Healthy Mothers, Strong World". We were also a semi-finalist in the Secretary of State's Competition for Empowerment of Women and Girls In 2011 we were a semi-finalist for the Buckminster Fuller Prize and the William James Foundation Social Enterprise Competition. We were also a finalist in the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition and the MassChallenge competition! We participated in the 90 day MassChallenge Accelerator program in Boston over the summer of 2011. Finally, in June of 2011 we won the LOHAS Prize (Life of Health and Sustainability).

In the Fall of 2011 we were a finalist in the Cartier Women's Initiative and in the Katerva Prize on Global Sustainability. In addition we were recognized by the Providence Business News in the Innovations Awards. In 2012 we were thrilled to be named by our peers as one of the 50 best ideas for women through the group Women Deliver. We went on to win the LivePlan Business Plan Competition hosted by Palo Alto software and judged by Guy Kawasaki and other startup gurus. The fall also saw the Maternova team be judged a 'hot 100 startup' by THEWSIE. In 2013 we were chosen by the Caplow Children's Prize to advance to the second round of their brand new $1M prize for innovative ideas for saving the lives of children.

What is Maternova Research?

A lot of our work is research, which we provide free of charge and as a public good. We believe that information sharing is critical to saving mothers and infants in low-resource settings. In 2013 we founded Maternova Research, our affiliate non-profit organization. You can read more about Maternova Research here.