Lea von Bidder
Founder and VP Marketing of Ava

Q: What makes you laugh?

A: Other people’s expressions when they hear our team talking loudly about ovulation and menstrual cycles in public spaces.

Be passionate about the empire you build

When I was a kid, I played strategy computer games on the weekends – constructing modern cities, Roman empires, medieval commerce routes and more. I suppose that was the best preparation for what came after: building up startups. Right after my studies, I moved to Bangalore, India, to build my first company, a premium chocolate retail chain. Yes, I know that’s a Swiss cliché, but it was an exciting and culturally enriching project.

When I exited my chocolate startup, I didn’t think it could get any better. But then I got the exceptional chance to join my talented co-founders with their ambitious vision to create a wearable that precisely and accurately tracks a woman’s cycle. After a year of building up the marketing side of the company in Switzerland, I moved to San Francisco to build up our US office. This was the second time my startups had taken me abroad. I’m curious now about what will come next. I’ve learned that “being passionate” about your company is not only a nice expression, but a crucial success factor – for yourself and your entire team.

Lea von Bidder, 26, started Ava in the fall of 2014 with her three co-founders after having previously successfully founded a chocolate retail chain in Bangalore, India. Ava is based in Zurich and helps couples to conceive faster and have happier, healthier journeys to a baby. Lea holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and is now running the San Francisco office of Ava, which has grown to 15 people.


This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.