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Founder Feature: Jenna Ryan

Sadly, you may know this feeling. You have to pee so badly. It burns like crazy as you do, and when you finish…you feel like you need to do it all over again, right now. Yes, we’re describing a urinary tract infection, and no, it’s not pleasant.

Jenna Ryan was hit with EIGHT of these bad boys in one year. Dissatisfied with the suggestion that she use long-term low-dose antibiotics, Jenna and her partner, a molecular biology and biochemistry major from UC Berkeley, set about to do something different. Together they developed Uqora, a dietary supplement that combats UTIs on several fronts.

Jenna was enjoying a successful career at Docusign when she created Uqora as a personal side hustle. As Uqora grew, she realized she’d have to choose a direction. Ultimately, her decision came down to feeling compelled to take the path she felt would be life-changing, to help literally millions of women.

According to Jenna, UTIs are the second most common infection in the United States. Half of American women will experience a UTI in their lifetimes, and 20% will have recurring UTIs. Given these stats, it was jaw-droppingly surprising when, in capital pitches, investors (typically men) would challenge the potential market share for Uqora! Jenna persevered and found some right-fit partners, even turning down some investors along the way.

Jenna shared her take on entrepreneurship in an interview on The Pitch Queen podcast. “Once you’ve gotten the idea that you want to strike out and do something on your own, in my mind, the risk to not do it is too great.”

Katelyn Murphy-McCarthy

Katelyn is a writer and editor specializing in creative nonfiction. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, and loves hearing and sharing the stories of women who are making a difference.
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