Meet FemTech Pioneer Debbie Dickinson with Co-Founder and Daughter Markea

Debbie Dickinson (right) and her daughter, Markea Dickinson, Co-Founders of Thermaband

Debbie Dickinson was seeking a cooling relief for menopausal hot flashes and night sweats. Realizing how how few solutions there are and how large the audience of midlife women is, Debbie and her daughter Markea became committed to modernizing menopause through science, community and technology.

They created Thermaband, a wearable that provides a natural solution to hot flashes by using temperature-regulating technology to achieve personal comfort. Their mission is to reframe the reality of menopause for midlife women.

Debbie and Markea were recently featured in Forbes on the list of 8 Female Founders disrupting the $600B menopause market. They were also named to the inaugural class of Cosmopolitan’s C-Suite. The C-Suite is Cosmo’s first-ever annual program focusing on the evolution of business leadership in America. It celebrates and honors Women of Color entrepreneurs and is run in partnership with digitalundivided, a nonprofit and social start-up.

Tell us a bit about your company

Thermaband’s mission is to reframe the reality of menopause for midlife women using temperature-regulating technology.

Founded by a mother-daughter duo (Debbie W’91 and Markea Dickinson) seeking a cooling relief solution for hot flashes and night sweats, The Thermaband Zone is a connected device that provides thermal relief through heating and cooling sensations on the inner wrist using thermoregulation to achieve comfort.

What inspired you to start your business / what opportunity in the market are you seeking to address?

Inspired by my own personal experience with debilitating hot flashes with few remedies and no tech solution designed by women for women. Recognized that I was not alone and was committed to modernize menopause through science, community and technology. Created wearable that provides a natural tech solution by harvesting the science of thermoregulation to achieve personal comfort.

What is it about your personal background, experience, or perspective that fuels your passion for this venture?

First generation college, graduate school, immigrant, with a deep belief in faith, family, education and limitless possibilities. Deeply committed to serving the underserved in all aspects of my life. This business ignites a determination to improve the lives of women by destigmatizing a natural season of life with open and honest dialogue, education, scientific insights, community and an unwavering desire to create the tech solution we desire and deserve.

The Thermaband Zone can benefit us personally and others in our life who also experience thermal discomfort and desire a natural, safe tech solution.

What are one or two of the biggest wins or most encouraging experiences you’ve had so far?

My daughter/Co-Founder, Markea and I, designed and developed a wearable with scientists, engineers, physicians and a robust community of women, that provides thermal relief for hot flash sufferers, like myself, and others who are uncomfortably hot or cold.

Raised $1.3M. Featured in Cosmopolitan and Forbes as 1of 8 women disrupting the $600B Menopause market. Have become a thought leader and pioneer in the menopause and FemTech/FemAging space.

Source: Thermaband

What has been one or two of the biggest learnings so far?

  • User insights are invaluable.
  • Staying connected and listening intently.
  • Build as leanly as possible and validate along the way (Lean Startup was invaluable).
  • Follow your heart and passion, even when others are not yet onboard.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • The only true failure is that which you were too afraid to pursue.

What is an obstacle that you are grappling with as you continue to build this venture?

Fundraising is challenging. Supply Chain constraints, although using strategies to mitigate effects.

What surprises have you encountered as an entrepreneur? Something out of left field?

Meaningful connections with other founders have been great. Love the entrepreneurial community! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I pursued entrepreneurship, but I enjoy the camaraderie.

When I started the business, the menopause market potential was not known (Fall 2019). It was delightful to be ahead of the curve and now see how much the investment community have come to understand the potential of a season of life that affects every women.

How can the WAFFA community help you?

Highlighting our mission, traction, value proposition and passion is incredibly helpful. Thank you!

Check out Thermaband here!

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Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) accelerates the success of women in the startup ecosystem. Join us: HelloWaffa.org

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WAFFA

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Wharton Alumnae Founders & Funders Association (WAFFA) accelerates the success of women in the startup ecosystem. Join us: HelloWaffa.org

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