#101: Ara Katz, Co-founder & Co-CEO of Seed Health

Today I’m joined by Ara Katz, co-founder & co-CEO of Seed Health — a microbial sciences company.

In this episode, we discuss the microbiome and the many ways it impacts well-being. Ara explains Seed’s approach to building a platform around studying and commercializing probiotics. And we talk about the differences between wellness, healthcare, and consumer life science.

More from Ara 

A serial entrepreneur, advisor and angel investor, Ara Katz has eclectic experience at the intersection of health, tech, environment, media and design.

She founded Seed Health to pioneer applications of microbes for both human and environmental health. Her work encompasses the translation of breakthrough science for a pipeline of probiotic innovations from discovery through commercialization across product, brand, insights, design-thinking, delivery technologies, industrial design, international DTC, new retail strategies, community, fundraising, channel expansion, business development and science communication.

She spearheaded the company’s $40MM fundraising to accelerate R+D and accelerate the company’s pipeline beyond gut microbiome into microbial applications across dermatology, oral hygiene, pediatrics, women’s health, infant health and nutrition. She brought the company carbon negative, to profitability, and led the acquisition of digital health ML company, Auggi.

Ara is also a co-founder of Seed Health’s environmental division, SeedLabs, and its first partner biotech company focused on women’s health, LUCA Biologics. Their first therapeutic for rUTI enters the clinic in September 2021 followed by interventions for BV and Preterm Birth.

Previously, Ara co-founded mobile commerce startup Spring, where she helped launch ApplePay on iPhone, and has invested in and advised companies across consumer, health and tech such as: RXDefine (TeleMed), C16 Biosciences (Sustainability), MindBodyGreen (Wellness), Mahmee (Maternal Care), Stadium Goods (Consumer / Marketplace), and Unicycle (Ed Tech).

Ara was a Visiting Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, where she helped create the Center for Future Storytelling and CCA’s Design Thinking MBA program. She has appeared on numerous podcasts like Rich Roll, Girlboss Radio, Welltodo, Commune and Broken Brain. She has been named in Marie Claire’s ‘The New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America,’ Business Insider’s Silicon Alley ‘Top 100’ and ‘36 Rockstar Women in NYC Tech,’ Create + Cultivate’s ‘100 List for STEM,’ and Women We Admire’s ‘Top 100 Women CEOs of 2021.’ Her work has earned accolades such as Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2019, 2020, and 2021,TIME’s Best Inventions 2018, and a Webby Award for Best Use of Stories in 2020.

She lives in Venice, California with her husband and five-year-old son, Pax (the reason Seed Health exists). She is passionate about the communication of science, the interplay of the environment and physical space, and the connecting of never before connected dots. Lastly, she’s the proud owner of several tardigrades who live at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History.

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