Healthcare is one of the leading sectors when it comes to innovation and creating new drugs and treatments. Today’s guest is passionate about healthcare, patient treatment, science, startups, venture capital, and helping women businesses create innovative answers to today’s healthcare problems. Rafaele Tordjman, MD, PhD went from medical doctor to venture capitalist in her quest to help patients find the absolute best care.

Rafaele Tordjman, MD, PhD is the founder and chairwoman of WITH Association an international organization of female biotech, medtech, digital health, and healthcare executives. The organization supports innovative healthcare solutions across the globe. She is also the founder and CEO of Jeito a next-generation fund with a patient benefit approach. These organizations empower women entrepreneurs to innovate life science and global healthcare.

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Show Notes

  • [03:22] Rafaele started as a medical doctor specializing in clinical haematology and internal medicine.
  • [03:54] She wanted to do more for the patients and understand the biology and cells behind the patients. So she earned a PhD.
  • [05:04] She then joined the investment world working in biotech.
  • [05:29] She became an analyst and worked for 15 years. She discovered that creating the best drugs requires a lot of innovation and diverse groups of people.
  • [07:41] Some of the latest treatments include using people’s own immune systems to fight cancer cells.
  • [08:05] There weren’t a lot of women in the VC world when Rafaele began. There still isn’t a lot of women involved in venture capital.
  • [08:57] 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women. This is one of the many reasons more women need to get involved in these sectors.
  • [09:08] Rafaele is part of the wave of getting more and more women involved.
  • [09:38] WITH is a result of Rafaele noticing there weren’t enough women in the healthcare ecosystem. She wanted experienced women from different parts such as scientists, physicians, and investment people.
  • [10:59] The purpose is to have a collaborative effort that creates better health for women and all patients.
  • [11:38] It’s a global organization with a diverse International group of extremely talented women. They have 500 women all around the world.
  • [12:40] Her dream was for this group of talented women to work on one project and have something positive come out of it. In order to speed things up, she started her new venture which is Jeito.
  • [13:21] Jeito means where there is a will, there’s a way. This is company that will invest in biotech in a new way. They also focus on having more success getting drug access for patients.
  • [14:35] Jeito mentors coaches and finances women who are driving medical innovation.
  • [15:52] It’s inspiring to have an entrepreneur start an organization with great goals and then move it into a new even more inspiring organization.
  • [16:53] They have a team of 11 people. The goal is to improve things, save time, and decrease risk.
  • [20:31] It’s so important to have women involved in healthcare and studies because they think differently.
  • [22:41] As a leader, women have to do much more to keep things collaboratively moving on. Women can be results-oriented. Women should also believe in themselves and respect themselves in leadership roles.
  • [25:54] Even the accomplished women in WITH need support to know that they are as good as if not better than some of their other colleagues.
  • [26:51] Rafaele was influenced by her father. He didn’t want her to be dependent on anyone. He wanted her to be able to choose how she lived and what she did.
  • [29:34] Networking is key in the VC industry. It’s all about people and relationships and betting on the right partners.
  • [30:39] Rafaele is in favor of in-person meetings.
  • [33:53] Rafaele likes the aspects of patients sharing information with each other on social media but meeting a doctor in person is still the best way to get a diagnosis and medical help.
  • [36:09] Women are beginning to catch up to men when it comes to heart disease. It’s more important now than ever for women’s health to be taken seriously.
  • [36:41] Rafaele’s ventures are not a balance with her family. It is more of a coexistence.
  • [38:00] Women can make their own choices without having to justify it. Surround yourself with supportive people who will partner with you.  

Links and Resources:


@WITH_asso on Twitter


@RafaeleTordjman on Twitter