OVIAVO has gone through several different stages since its launch in 2019. Currently, the startup helps modern companies overcome inequalities by supporting all employees to plan families and thrive in their career. However, OVIAVO goes beyond just providing fertility benefits. Jenny adds: ‘‘We help companies all over Europe to become an inclusive workplace, by making fertility and family forming services accessible to everyone’’.
The OVIAVO Idea
With a long history of working in several different companies varying from Fyber in San Francisco to the Dutch fintech company Adyen, it is no wonder that Jenny decided to start her own company. However, the idea of OVIAVO did not came out of thin air:
In 2019, Jenny turned 32, and with no partner and no desire to have kids anytime soon, she decided to freeze her eggs. The issues arose even before finding a fitting fertility clinic. With no input from her OB/GYN, and with weeks of unsuccessful research, Jenny just decided to opt for the fertility clinic closest to her. At that point, she still had no idea what to expect: How does it work? How long does it take? What does it cost? And her fertility doctor was also not prepared to give her the ‘sales talk’. “She gave me this overview 2-pager with a list of different cost assumptions but it was not clear what the end amount looked like.” According to Jenny, there were so many aspects that could have been done much better.
She was disappointed and also felt a bit lost. ”With a service that you have to pay for privately, there is an expectation that was unfortunately not met in many ways.” After discussing these issues with her friends, some of whom were founders themselves, they encouraged her to do something about the circumstances: ‘‘Jenny, if you are not going to change the current situation, someone else will” they said to her. With this in mind, Jenny started the OVIAVO journey.
Initially, Jenny started looking for another female co-founder. After sharing her enthusiasm with her good friend Tobias Kaufhold, it did not take long for him to ask: ”Jenny, does it actually have to be a female co-founder or could you also imagine starting the company with me?” A week later, they officially formed the duo that is now successfully running OVIAVO.
Infertility, one of the biggest challenges in the 21st century
The idea of OVIAVO did start after Jenny’s own egg freezing journey but the concept of OVIAVO goes beyond just providing a pleasant egg freezing experience. With infertility being one of the biggest challenges in the 21st century, there are many more issues that need to be tackled.
”Our society is getting older: we are living longer and healthier” Jenny starts. ”At the same time, women have more opportunities than ever before, the consequence is that our entire family planning is shifting. The average age of women at first birth has increased in the last 30 years from 25 to now over 30. At the same time, it becomes more and more difficult to conceive naturally with increasing age, as not only the quantity but also the quality of a woman’s eggs decreases over the course of her life.”
- 15% of the population struggles with infertility (World Health Organisation )
- In Germany, >50% of women with academic education do not have kids at age 35, half of them stay without children – mostly unwanted
- The majority of same-sex couples planning to start a family face major challenges as their only option is to go through reproductive treatments (IVF with sperm donation for lesbian couples or adoption and surrogacy for gay male couples)
The impact of Fertility & Family Forming benefits
Fertility & Family Forming benefits aim to break down barriers in the employer-employee relationship, especially when dealing with sensitive and crucial topics in life. To continue, it provides a significant step in the path to a diverse and equal world. Jenny believes that by embracing them, companies not only position themselves as a role model for progressive enterprises but also take a stand against discrimination and stigmas.Find out more on why Europe needs fertility benefits now.
General advice posted on our blog or website or app is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. OVIAVO makes no warranties regarding treatments, coverage, or chances of success.