Juno Technologies innovates for women’s health

Douleurs menstruelles
Menstrual Pain

Between the euphoria of the “eureka!” moment and the launch of a new technological product on the market, the path can seem uncertain, even impassable for many entrepreneurs. But with the right partners, creating a new product can be an exhilarating adventure from start to finish, with the conquest of the coveted market at the end. Nanette Sene, CEO and co-founder of Juno Technologies, will tell you that having a good idea and knowing how to surround yourself with people are the keys to success.

A graduate of Polytechnique Montréal’s master’s program in industrial engineering, Nanette Sene had this idea: to develop an alternative to drugs for relieving menstrual pain. All his research confirmed his intuition: none existed.

Yet it’s a problem that affects 80% of women worldwide. “Medication is often ineffective and, for women who are unwilling or unable to take the drugs usually prescribed, there was no alternative,” she explains. With this in mind, she decided just over two years ago to “find something”.

Convinced of the commercial potential of an invention that would fill this gap, she quickly realized the size of the task ahead. “It was a lot for one person to handle, but I knew exactly who I needed to approach for support: my co-founder Lynn Doughane. Not only did she have a background similar to mine, but she knew first-hand the frustrations of not having a non-drug solution for menstrual pain,” says Sene. The two partners founded Juno Technologies and set to work immediately.

From idea to prototype

To move on to the prototype development phase, you need to follow a rigorous process. It is imperative to ensure that there is indeed a need for the product, and to be able to demonstrate its feasibility.

When Nanette and Lynn came to us with their business project, we were excited by all the potential benefits of their solution, which would help a significant number of women,” says Benoît Routhier, General Manager of the Centre d’innovation en microélectronique du Québec (CIMEQ), a member of the CCTT Network’s digital squad. Their documentation was solid, and working on women’s health allowed us to broaden our field of expertise. We also knew that this innovative project with a start-up SME would greatly motivate our professional team, both on the technical and engineering side.”

The aim was to create a wearable device combining heat and microelectronics; the challenges of miniaturization and design would be at the heart of the conceptualization. “Added to this were the financial challenges, because with this type of project, you absolutely have to achieve a viable unit cost for marketing,” he continues.

Before launching the prototyping phase itself, the CIMEQ team, well versed in the ins and outs of R&D funding, provided invaluable assistance to the two young entrepreneurs. “Not only did the CIMEQ experts save us long detours, but their ability to pass on their knowledge and the Mon succès numérique program enabled us to build up our own expertise, which will be very useful for the future,” says Nanette Sene.

Wind in the sails

Marketing healthcare products is one of the most demanding types of business for entrepreneurs. So we’ll have to wait until 2025 to get our hands on the menstrual pain relief device created by Ms Sene and Ms Doughane. The approval process, from both Health Canada and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), takes several months, and may involve going back to the drawing board for final adjustments.

In the meantime, the list of pre-orders is growing at a steady pace, as the two entrepreneurs rack up the honors. Juno Technologies has just won the Jeune entreprise de l’année – Banque Nationale award from the Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec. This award, which recognizes the work of innovative young companies with a social dimension and a strong business development approach, is the latest in an impressive list of Quebec and Canadian awards won by the emerging company.