Suzie Welsh is taking her expertise from the nursing world to launch a startup that helps couples who are trying to get pregnant.
It was caring for patients and educating couples on the process of in vitro fertilization and other reproductive treatments that led Welsh, a former nurse at Penn Medicine focused on fertility, to create BINTO.
BINTO, which stands for “Bun In The Oven” and also feels like a nod to Japanese bento boxes, is a subscription startup that helps couples find the products they need to help them conceive.
“Every individual’s reproductive journey is individual, unique and personal and I really wanted that to be a part of the company and brand,” said Welsh, who lives in Fairmount and left her job at Penn in May to work on the company full-time.
BINTO launches today with a party in Wayne. The subscription service costs $95 a month.
Welsh’s interest in fertility began when she was 16-years-old and went to Malawi with the nonprofit organization Global Aids Interfaith Alliance (GAIA), which works to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS and also focused on making healthcare for women easily accessible, especially to women who may be pregnant and infected with HIV/AIDS. GAIA also worked to make prenatal vitamins and birth control easily accessible for women in the country.
That experience had a strong impact on her view of the world and after graduating with a nursing degree from the University of Virginia, she spent three years working at Hahnemann Hospital in women’s neonatal health. Welsh went on to get her master’s degree in nursing at Penn, while also working at Penn Fertility Care. She came up with the idea for BINTO while at school and it was getting into a Wharton healthcare innovation class in her last semester that helped her take the leap into entrepreneurship.
(Sidenote: Penn’s nursing school is a somewhat unexpected factory of entrepreneurs and innovation. RightCare Solutions is one local venture-backed health IT company whose product is based on technology developed by a Penn Nursing professor.)
With BINTO, customers fill out a survey of their needs and get connected to a curated lineup of products, which they receive every month. Those products might include prenatal vitamins, organic feminine care products and pregnancy and ovarian test kits.
Knowing that infertility doesn’t discriminate against any race, class or gender, BINTO’s target audience is broad. It’s for both couples who are experiencing infertility and those who are trying to conceive.
“It doesn’t matter where you are in the process because it’s curated to you,” she said.
Dedicated to an all-inclusive vision, Welsh said that she also wants to make BINTO accessible for same-sex couples who are partnering with a surrogate.
BINTO only sources products from companies that meet quality standards by experts from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Center for Disease Control and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Welsh said.
Welsh thinks her background as a nurse sets BINTO apart. She noticed a lot of companies for reproductive health were popping up but most of those founders didn’t come from a healthcare background.
“The trust with BINTO is that I’m a nurse and I’m an expert in this field and I’ve put a lot of work into this,” she said.
BINTO counts several health professionals on their advisory board including Maureen Kelly of Society Hill Reproductive Medicine.