WILD.AI’s website opens with a single statement: ‘Your physiology = your advantage.’
CEO Hélène Guillaume spent much of her life feeling the opposite.
“I didn’t think it was cool to be a woman”, she recalls. “It seemed that men’s bodies were so much more efficient.”
While training competitively as a rugby player, triathlete and ice swimmer, Hélène found that she couldn’t predict her body or performance in the same way as her male counterparts.
“I was training like I had a male body – following the same protocols and types of nutrition. Sometimes my body would perform really well and I’d feel amazing, on track. Other times I’d feel less motivated and less ready.
I knew my body was different, but in the circles I was in, assigned female bodies were dismissed as ‘moody’ and ‘complicated’. People made jokes about women in sport. There was no attention being given to this topic, and no way for me to understand the variations that came with my menstrual cycle.”
Hélène’s experience led her to found WILD.AI, a technology company helping those assigned female navigate these variations and optimise their training around their menstrual cycles.
WILD.AI is part of a newly emerging generation of startups collectively known as ‘FemTech’ – companies that address issues commonly faced by women currently going unchallenged and unaddressed.
In this series, founders of FemTech companies explore how they drew on their own experiences – as researchers and in their own lives – and those of others, to build products that challenge the status quo.
Here, Hélène shares how her company is supporting people to use their cycles to train smarter; how we can create technology that no-longer takes male bodies as the standard; and why a product focussed on periods is worth investing in for everyone.