Ferolyn Fellowship Builds On Its Fruitful Community of Mentors As It Welcomes A New Class

They say that the third time’s a charm, and the third class of Ferolyn Fellows proved that – not because of who was in the class – a stellar roster as always – but because of what we all have realized the program can be, says Liz McDermott, co-founder of the Ferolyn Fellowship.

“The third class really opened our eyes to a whole new aspect of the program – the fact that it goes beyond the original intent of Fellows receiving great mentorship, graduating and moving on to successful careers. While that is happening, we are also seeing that together these cohorts are building a tremendous community dedicated to supporting each other through a culture of mentoring and paying it forward to future entrepreneurs.”

The Ferolyn Fellowship recently celebrated the graduation of its third class, which included Ridhi Tariyal, Neil Zimmerman and Amanda French. As with the two previous classes, each of the trio were outstanding in their own way: Ridhi raised an impressive $9 million in Series A funding; Neil is thriving as an R&D engineering manager at a Foundry startup under the mentorship of one of the inaugural Fellows Matt McLean; and Amanda’s startup, Emme (formerly Cadence), rebranded and is focused on solving the pain points that come with the birth control pill experience, starting with connected hardware that makes it easier to manage the pill and stay on track.

“This is such a unique program,” said program co-founder Marian Powell. “The Fellows have created their own energy around how to sustain this program by exploring ways to share the gift they have received through this Fellowship, while each taking their next career step. It’s very inspirational.”

Welcoming the new class 

As the third class moves on, the Institute welcomed its fourth Ferolyn Fellowship class – Maria Artunduaga, MD, MPH, MTM; Eric Chehab, Ph.D; and Andy McGibbon. Maria is the founder and CEO of Respira Labs, a startup that is developing a digital health platform, which provides real-time diagnostic and monitoring of deterioration in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Eric is the co-founder and CEO of Novonate, a startup that is committed to designing products that solve problems in neonatal care; and Andy is a partner at Sonder Capital, a VC firm that invests in early-stage medical technology companies.

Once again, the class is comprised of an impressive and diverse group of professionals, each at a point in their profession where they can benefit from all the program elements to propel their career trajectory. And, each arrives with a background that will lend itself to creating the type of connections that have helped other classes thrive.

Building a legacy

The program’s success over the past three years has been impressive, with a roster of Fellows that reads like a “who’s who” of industry accomplishments. Notable successes include second year Fellows Bronwyn Harris and Anura Patil whose startup, Tueo Health, was recently acquired by Apple. Bronwyn co-founded and led the company and later invited Anura to join as CTO.

Kate Garret, who sold her company Ciel Medical during the first year of her fellowship, is now a full-time mentor for the program. She was also recently named assistant director at Stanford Biodesign and joined Andy as general partner at Sonder Capital.

Julia Fox, from the inaugural class, continues to work at HeartFlow. The company was the first Fogarty Institute startup to graduate and it has raised a remarkable $467 million in funding.

A very involved mentor team and board

The program continues to evolve and thrive because of the commitment offered by each Fellow. “Everyone in the group brings something a little different, and then they build on each other and support each other, ultimately creating what will hopefully be a long line of mentors,” said Marian.

This is due in large part to its two co-founders, Ferolyn’s sisters Liz and Marian, and its dedicated advisory board and mentors. The fourth classes’ mentors include Angela Macfarlane and Surbhi Sarna, joined by Kate Garrett, while the advisory board welcomed Deb Kilpatrick, CEO of Evidation Health.

“The dedication and passion of the group really symbolizes the advisory board’s commitment to honoring and celebrating Ferolyn’s spirit and effective and compassionate style of leadership,” says Liz. “We are honored to support this program and watch it launch these high-achieving professionals into the next phase of their careers.”

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