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SXSW 2017

Sex, Bias, and a Billion Dollars

Just last year Cindy Whitehead, founder and CEO of Sprout Pharmaceuticals, broke through with the first ever FDA approved treatment for sexual desire in women. Dubbed "female viagra" by the media, the New York Times has called it "one of the most intriguing new pharmaceuticals in a generation." One day after the landmark approval, she sold the company for $1B upfront. So how did an entrepreneurial startup from Raleigh succeed where pharmaceutical giants had failed? Cindy's story sparks conversation and controversy as she uses her experience to challenge audiences to 1)Not accept narratives that impede progress 2)Be unapologetic in their mission 3)Embrace the workhorse to become the unicorn.

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  1. What tools can I use to not accept narratives that impede progress?
  2. How can I be unapologetic in my mission?
  3. How do I embrace the workhorse to become the unicorn?



Kathryn Elias, Mktg Asst, Wake County Economic Development

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