Next 51 Labs to focus on reducing maternal mortality in the U.S. with capital from Laerdal Million Lives Fund
U.S. maternal mortality spikes to highest rate in more than 60 years, affecting Black mothers the most
March 17, 2023, CHICAGO — MATTER announces the next focus area of its 51 Labs accelerator: reducing maternal mortality in the U.S. MATTER is currently recruiting corporate partners for the accelerator, which will launch later this year and will advance the development of innovations to reduce maternal mortality in the U.S., focusing on access to care and early intervention. The Laerdal Million Lives Fund will anchor investment in the companies in the cohort.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new data on Thursday showing that the number of women who died from pregnancy or a pregnancy-related cause in the U.S. in 2021 increased by 40 percent from 2020.1 This rate of maternal mortality in the U.S. is now the highest since 1965, and the U.S. fares worse than any other industrialized nation.
While all ages and races saw an increase in maternal mortality in 2021, Black mothers remain the most affected.2 Black women are 2.6 times more likely to die from pregnancy or pregnancy-related causes than white women in the U.S.
“Women’s health has not received the investment and attention it needs to allow every woman to access quality, affordable maternal care,” said Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “The next focus area of 51 Labs will address the pressing issue of rising maternal mortality rates by empowering healthcare innovators and entrepreneurs to develop and scale solutions that improve access to care and early intervention. We are thrilled Laerdal Million Lives Fund will support the companies in the cohort.”
MATTER recently concluded the first 51 Labs accelerator cohort. The company partnered with Walgreens, Astellas Pharma US, Parkview Health, BayCare, University of Chicago Medicine and Capita3 on the program, which accelerated the development of 11 companies focused on menopause.
The next cohort will convene a similar group of industry leaders to identify and advance the development of innovations that will reduce maternal mortality in the U.S. Once the top solutions are identified, the cohort will participate in a rigorous 12-week, multifaceted curriculum consisting of exclusive workshops, peer group forums, industry roundtables and mentorship to further develop the capabilities of each entrepreneur and their business, including building key competencies such as product-market fit, go-to-market strategy, fundraising and presentation and selling skills.
Participating corporate partners will have the opportunity to collectively narrow the challenge statement, mentor the cohort and participate in thought leadership events, cross-industry insight sessions and a mentor bootcamp and more.
On a mission to help save one million lives annually by 2030, Laerdal Million Lives Fund will partner with MATTER to provide capital to support the 51 Labs cohort of enabling technologies and digital solutions to address maternal mortality.
“As a healthcare technology investor with a mission to save lives, we cannot ignore the urgent need to address maternal mortality,” said Becca Shmukler, principal at Laerdal Million Lives Fund. “By partnering with MATTER, we are excited to identify and fuel innovative solutions that can directly address this issue and help prevent the unnecessary deaths of women across the country.”
If you’re interested in getting involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2021,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023.
- “U.S. Maternal Mortality Hits Highest Level Since 1965,” The Wall Street Journal, 2023.
At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 800 current and alumni startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.
About Laerdal Million Lives Fund
The Million Lives Fund invests in entrepreneurs who are developing and deploying new, emerging technologies capable of saving lives and enhancing healthcare quality and outcomes regardless of demographics or geography. The $100 million fund targets digital health and technology companies whose solutions can improve mortality rates and help reach its goal of helping to save 1 million lives annually by 2030. Investments span across medical education innovations to early interventions, therapeutics and tech-enabled care models. For more information, visit www.laerdalmillionlives.com.