Maternova awarded Global Katerva Prize for Sustainability in the Category of Gender Equality

“RI Tech and Innovation Report” - The Katerva Awards

Maternova CEO Prakash Veenam PHOTO: LinkedIN

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Rebecca Keister, Tech Contributor

Touted as the “pinnacle of global sustainability recognition,” the Katerva Awards pay tribute to companies, people and ideas that show a great promise of permanently changing various industry landscapes.

Considering that just 10 years ago Maternova—an innovator of medical devices to improve the health of women, expectant mothers, and newborns—was a seedling of an idea, to be a finalist for this year’s Katerva Awards in the gender equality category is quite the achievement.

“We are honored….this is a strong validation of a decade of work by a small team,” Maternova CEO Prakash Veenam told GoLocalProv. “Gender equality is at the core of all of our work and the work of the thousands of passionate health providers in our network.”


Founded in 2009 by Meg Wirth—who now serves as chief strategy officer—and Allyson Cote—who stepped down last year from her COO post—Maternova participated in Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s first accelerator program, taking the leap from idea to action after it was “percolating for a long time,” according to Veenam.

Over the last decade, Maternova has been named a Women Deliver 50 best idea for women, a top 20 social media outlet by Huffington Post and received national media attention from NPR, BBC World Radio and Forbes.

They’ve grown to a network of more than 30,000 clinicians and midwives in 180 countries, developing rapid diagnostic tests, neonatal monitoring products, and tools to improve obstetric health.

Their NovaVeil Mosquito protective apparel—available for pre-order in the United States—is the final stages of EPA approval for use on children’s clothing, and their best-selling product is a non-pneumatic anti-shock garment external compression device that stops postpartum hemorrhage, a lifesaving tool for women worldwide.

Today, the company remains a tight team of six, focused for the past few years on scaling their business model to sell larger volumes of their “life-saving” innovations.

Here’s a little more on how the company has grown and where they plan to go from here.

GoLocalProv: What’s been happening in the last couple years regarding new partners?

Veenam: We have several corporate supply partners in place and are signing exclusive partnership agreements with reputed medical distributors and health groups in countries with fast-growing markets. We’ve also revamped our supply chain and logistics management, giving us tremendous strength in fulfilling large volume orders worldwide.

GoLocalProv: How has the company changed since you first collaborated with SEG?

Veenam: We are now an exclusive distributor of more than 40 products to institutions and governments around the world. Twenty percent are Maternova-branded products and we plan to be at 50% in two to three years.

GoLocalProv: Why does your business model work?

Veenam: The simple premise of Maternova is that health professionals around the world need a trusted, reliable source for innovation in obstetrics and newborn health. We can accelerate the time it takes for diagnostics to reach…agencies and governments supplying health providers in emerging markets and beyond.

GoLocalProv: To what do you attribute your amazing success?

Veenam: That is due to the power of social media, our focus on being a lean startup, and partnering with in-country experts rather than “building” our own offices or teams in those countries.