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Giant Interview – Peter Astbury – Grace Cooling

Giant Interview – Peter Astbury – Grace Cooling

00:00:03] Welcome back to Tech Innovations for Women’s Health. Twenty nineteen, which is a Giants fan. We’re here at obviously the fantastic city of London down here, actually, and we’ve had some fantastic conversations today regarding all things within medtech, within femme tech as well. I’m really talking to some of these market ladies right now and entrepreneurs as well as start-ups, really wanting to break into the medtech field and especially talking around about how women can help improve that and become real leaders within this space as well. Now, I’d like to introduce our next guest. It’s Peter Asprey, who’s the founder for a company called Castaño. Thank you very much for joining myself. And you’re having me now. So, Peter, give us a little bit of an overview, really, of what does and really what brings you to Giant this year.

[00:00:50] So this is my first interaction with John, actually relatively new to the game, but it really revolves at the moment around one product of grace. And what Grace looks to do is revolutionise treatment for women in menopause. It’s a taboo subject still. And what we’re supposed to do is it’s a it’s a smart bracelet, which has a range of senses within it that looks to, first of all, detect hot flushes and night sweats for those experiencing them as part of menopause and then actually proactively prevent them. So by using localised cooling on the wrist, which is triggered, that works to reverse the effects of the hot flush itself.

[00:01:32] Wow, that’s really interesting stuff, because I think we all probably know people who have a really aunties. You know, this goes on really sisters, of course, and who have gone through menopause as well and can obviously be a little bit stressful and traumatic as well for women in particular. And so it doesn’t only just calculate when it’s going to happen, it actually physically helps and cools down as well.

[00:01:58] Yeah, absolutely. That’s it. And I think you touched on something interesting, which is that as much as it may be a taboo subject, everyone knows someone that has been affected by it. And it may not even be that they know they’re affected by it. Know there’s a lot of people that simply don’t talk about it. I think especially when you talk about menopause in the workplace, it’s something that is now gaining more attention. And it’s important that it does. That workplace is put in in place those schemes and support networks and training as well to help women deal with what they’re going through and feel comfortable and confident that work and and in other forms as well.

[00:02:37] Yeah, because, I mean, you know, we’re relatively young that we probably don’t know what it’s really like at all, of course. And my question was going to be something else. But I just wanted to quickly understand as well pointed out that we’re both young in terms of age as well. What made you want to come up with this product and what made you inspired to find it and to basically create this product?

[00:02:59] So I’m a designer by background, industrial designer first and foremost. And I was doing my design degree up at Loughborough. And it’s a great course. And you go when you do your third year in industry, you go to work. I had a fantastic manager whilst still on that placement year and coming back into finally I was racking my brain for something I could do that would really make a difference. And I spoke to my manager and she said, you know what? There’s one area that you should consider said it’s not cool, it’s not sexy, it’s menopause. And I was really taken aback. You know, I knew nothing about it at the time. But the more I looked into it and considered it as an area to focus on, the more I started to realise this is really something that should have been addressed a long time ago. And especially once you start going into the qualitative research and you hear the personal stories behind it, you know, it’s it’s heartbreaking at times. This hasn’t been addressed in a really head-on way before. And so I’m really happy to be doing this and and trying to fly the flag for these different areas within FinTech.

[00:04:03] Yeah, absolutely. And I think this is I think, like we said, anybody knows somebody who’s going through menopause. I’ve been through it. It can really hit people hard. And to deal with that at work is almost like especially if you’ve got stress going on as well. Separate to that just adds to it, doesn’t it? And to have something like what you’ve what you’re providing, really, I suppose, actually not doesn’t only just help the person go through it, but also as well can help businesses too as well.

[00:04:30] Largely, yeah, absolutely. There was a really interesting survey that was done by wellbeing of women in twenty sixteen where they found that one in four women actually considered leaving work due to their experiences in menopause. I think that really says something where everyone has female colleagues at work that may be of the age where they they’re going through menopause. And I think the support network isn’t necessarily that yet. People aren’t talking about it. So for people to have something that maybe isn’t even necessarily hidden crisis designed to be worn on a visible. Part of the body, but I think having something that can give you that confidence and restore a sort of sense of control over your body helps you personally. But also if there’s training and there’s awareness around this subject as well, I think that’s only going to help build that support network around you and Grace.

[00:05:20] I suppose there’s two meetings in that one. It’s a female name, but also as well, I suppose, taking grace in terms of the approach and not to make it like this taboo subject, like you rightly pointed out, which which still is largely. So it’s interesting. I don’t think you need to answer on that one. It’s good night. But in terms of moving on, talking about this event as well, obviously it’s very relevant for you to be able to do some market research and to really understand what else is going on within context.

[00:05:51] What are you really finding, though? The main challenges are for women moving into medtech as well and areas which still maybe aren’t quite being fulfilled.

[00:06:03] I think, you know, a lot of things today revolved around the funding of fintech. The rise of the investor was one of the panels we had today. And it was really interesting to hear from the inside with those investors what some of these companies are doing to change how they invest, the training in the money that they’re putting into their own organisations to stop the unconscious bias and those sorts of things. I think that’s what’s really interesting. I think that’s what’s going to change it for a lot of tech companies and companies looking to gain investment from that. That’s one of the main things I’ve taken away from today. It was an all male panel there, but I think, again, that almost even more when they start talking about the fact that they’re putting in resource money into into these sorts of things.

[00:06:56] I mean, at the end of the day, as long as people are being able to really look at areas in terms of investment, especially with time tech, it doesn’t really matter who the who.

[00:07:07] If you’re male or female or LGBT community, it doesn’t matter. It’s about really do people want to have this conversation and invest? And that’s really, I think, for start-ups what they’re looking for, isn’t it?

[00:07:20] Yeah, absolutely. Is really to talk about which was from a podcast run by Terry Hanson. And she said it was actually with a male run, an interview with. And they said, you know, actually women’s health problem is a human health problem. We are all the same rights and we are. Exactly. So I think it’s good that FinTech is getting this sort of platform to be spoken about and it’s good that it’s growing. You know, let’s keep that going.

[00:07:50] And just quickly as well, you said this is your first joint event as well. It is.

[00:07:55] And how have you enjoyed it today? It’s been great. I think the range of people that it’s brought about, interesting conversations with so many individuals from all over the place, from entrepreneurs, researchers, large corporate companies, investors, all the rest of it. So it’s been a really enjoyable time.

[00:08:12] And just for the viewers at home watching this, if if you are going through obviously and of course, and dealing with that right now, how can people go about finding a product and see if they need to be purchased as well?

[00:08:24] Sure. So Grace is still in development, the product itself. But there is a website. Please go to IoT, where you can find all the information about this is great schooling, dot com. There’s contact information on that.

[00:08:36] And you can join our mailing list to be updated with all things. Great stuff. Let you get that little plug in there. But pizza. Fantastic. Thanks very much for joining us. Thank you very much. This.