secretleaders | CERN scientist turned founder – Natural Cycles CEO Elina Berglund

CERN scientist turned founder – Natural Cycles CEO Elina Berglund

“There’s no birth control method that is 100% effective and Natural Cycles is as similarly effective as the pill. So it’s 93% effective with typical use, and 98% effective with perfect use, meaning that you use protection on the days that the app says.”

Before becoming CEO and co-founder of Natural Cycles, the world’s first and only app to be certified as a contraception both in Europe and in the US, today’s Secret Leader, Dr Elina Berglund, was part of the team that discovered the Higgs boson at CERN, which led to the Nobel Prize in physics in 2013.

“I felt like with my understanding of data from particle physics, I can actually develop an algorithm that also learns cycle to cycle and applies more advanced statistical methods to say like, well, I’m definitely not fertile today.”

Elina was looking for an effective natural contraceptive and applied her skills from particle physics to create an algorithm that could accurately pinpoint when a woman is fertile. Elina is now on a mission to pioneer women’s health with research and passion, empowering women with the knowledge they need to take charge of their health.

From how to found an app and work with your husband, to building the algorithm without being in beta mode, dealing with unwanted pregnancies while using the app, to her biggest mistakes in the early days. Don’t miss Elina sharing her journey of how she created a product that fundamentally changed the way we choose to live our lives.

“Now I’m looking back at it, I should have listened to my gut more, because my gut was telling me, this doesn’t feel right, something feels difficult, this feels heavy. Now when things are actually going well, it feels easy, it doesn’t feel hard anymore. So I think I should have listened to my gut and changed things faster.”

We chat about:
· The transition from CERN to contraception
· How to build trust with the first users
· Funding and financing Natural Cycles
· Dealing with unwanted pregnancies
· Bringing wearable contraception to market

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The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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