Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

A new startup that is helping women everywhere have happy, healthy pregnancies.

Many great startup ventures begin when when the founder falls in love with a problem worth solving. When I met Noelle Acosta and asked her what problem her startup solves, she responded with:

“Prenatal care is broken. Compared to other developed countries, the US has some of the highest maternal mortality rates. Women of color are disproportionately impacted by these numbers. While there are several factors that contribute to this problem, lack of prenatal care and access to care is a key factor.”

Boom! Now there’s a problem worth solving! But how to solve it?

Affluent families, of course, have a whole health care team around them during a pregnancy. They have a primary care physician, an OB/GYN physician, maybe a dietician, a personal yoga instructor, and — increasingly — a doula. A doula is a trained companion who provides continuous emotional and physical support during labor and childbirth.

Clinical trials have shown that having this level of care dramatically improves outcomes, but something like having a personal doula during your pregnancy is simply outside what many women can afford. And so Noelle has founded a new startup, Noula, with a digital platform designed to provide the expertise of a personal duola in a way that is accessible for all women.

It’s a digital platform you can use from any device, with a mix of personalized curriculum, videos, and a knowledge base. Plus you have access to 1:1 advice from a professional doula anytime. Everyone’s maternity journey is a little different, and so Noelle and her team have tried very hard to create a platform flexible enough to support any family’s vision and values.

By providing professional prenatal care for all, at a fraction of the cost of a traditional doula, Noula can help families achieve accessible support, driving healthier birth outcomes for all. The care model blends evidence-based principles, proactive, self-guided pathways, and end-to-end doula support to help families achieve healthy birth outcomes.

Noula is launching the platform in beta form next month, and they are currently accepting applicants for their beta program. Beta users will receive weekly, on-demand curated pathways, dedicated, virtual doula support, and ongoing check-ins to track their maternity journey.

This is an awesome startup, addressing a real problem. I’m looking forward to seeing how Noelle and her startup continue to grow and succeed.

Noula is currently in the 4thly Startup Accelerator program.

Silicon Valley guy. I teach entrepreneurship at Stanford, run the 4thly Startup Accelerator, and coach startup CEO’s at Miller Center.