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#AskAMogulAnything:Hi,weareJanicaandJefferyAlvarez.Weco-foundedNayaHealthandaretheinventorsoftheNayaSmartBreastPump.Askusanythingyou'dlike!YourquestionswillbeansweredLIVE12/6@2pmET.

Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
over 2 years San Francisco, CA, United States Conversation

Your questions will be answered on Tuesday, December 6th at 2pm ET. To ask a question, click here to create a Mogul profile, then post a question in the comment section below!

Hi, we are Janica and Jeffery Alvarez! We co-founded Naya Health, a company focused on improving nutritional health through reimagined consumer technology for mom and baby. 

We are the inventors of the Naya Smart Breast Pump. After struggling to provide breast milk for my three sons using leading consumer breast pumps, my husband, Jeff, and I realized that a water-based system, instead of air, could transform the breast pump to make it efficient, comfortable, and quiet. 

A little bit about Janica: Before Naya Health, Janica spent over a decade in clinical research at top tier pharmaceutical companies, including Gilead Sciences and Genentech, where she led cross-functional teams and clinical trial efforts contributing to the review and approval of life-saving oncology and HIV therapies by the FDA. She also spent five years performing clinical work at Intermountain Health Care in a critical care unit.

Janica studied clinical bioethics in the Masters of Science program at Union Graduate College and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Weber State University. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their three rambunctious sons.

A little bit about Jeff: Before Naya Health, Jeff spent over a decade in medical device and consumer design. Jeff was previously Director of Product Development at Auris Surgical Robotics, which he helped grow from seed funding to a venture-backed company valued at $130 million. His responsibilities included product development, engineering oversight, market analysis and business strategy. Before that, Jeff was a Lead Technical Manager at Hansen Medical, the world leader in flexible robotics, where he was the mind and force behind the high-performing Magellan Robotic Catheter design and engineering team.

Jeff received his MBA from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He and Janica currently reside in the San Francisco Bay Area with their three rambunctious sons.

Now's your chance to ask me anything! Please write your questions in the comments section below and I'll answer the questions live on Tuesday, December 6th at 2pm ET.

36 replies

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  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    over 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

    You all are amazing and thank you so much again for being guests today on Ask A Mogul Anything!

    You all are amazing and thank you so much again for being guests today on Ask A Mogul Anything!

  • MomontheMove
    over 2 years ago

    Are there any discount codes?

    Are there any discount codes?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      We currently do not offer any discount codes. You can use FSA, HSA and out-of-network insurance for the balance.

      We currently do not offer any discount codes. You can use FSA, HSA and out-of-network insurance for the balance.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    over 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

    I can imagine it must be very busy with the product launch! How do you all find a strong work-life balance?

    I can imagine it must be very busy with the product launch! How do you all find a strong work-life balance?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Thanks, Bethany! Jeff is better at this than I. It's hard for me to "shut-off" what is going on at the office. We try to reserve Sundays as a day we focus on each other and our children. In the evenings, once the PJs are on, we can't talk about work :) Again, I'm a work in progress.

      Thanks, Bethany! Jeff is better at this than I. It's hard for me to "shut-off" what is going on at the office. We try to reserve Sundays as a day we focus on each other and our children. In the evenings, once the PJs are on, we can't talk about work :) Again, I'm a work in progress.

      • Bethany Heinrich
        Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
        over 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

        Work-life balance can definitely be tricky. What's your favorite thing about being a mom?

        Work-life balance can definitely be tricky. What's your favorite thing about being a mom?

        • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
          Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
          over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

          Having the excuse to be silly! I love looking at my children in the eyes, I try to stare deeply enough where I see both my husband and myself. My heart warms when my children smile and I laugh hysterically at them on a daily basis. They are great teachers and I enjoy learning from them. They soften my heart and give me faith that everything is going to be okay. They teach me what childhood means and motivate me to focus on what matters most: family.

          Having the excuse to be silly! I love looking at my children in the eyes, I try to stare deeply enough where I see both my husband and myself. My heart warms when my children smile and I laugh hysterically at them on a daily basis. They are great teachers and I enjoy learning from them. They soften my heart and give me faith that everything is going to be okay. They teach me what childhood means and motivate me to focus on what matters most: family.

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Thanks, Bethany! Jeff is better at this than I. It's hard for me to "shut-off" what is going on at the office. We try to reserve Sundays as a day we focus on each other and our children. In the evenings, once the PJs are on, we can't talk about work :) Again, I'm a work in progress.

      Thanks, Bethany! Jeff is better at this than I. It's hard for me to "shut-off" what is going on at the office. We try to reserve Sundays as a day we focus on each other and our children. In the evenings, once the PJs are on, we can't talk about work :) Again, I'm a work in progress.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    over 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

    What's your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? What's the first step they should take to turn their vision into a reality?

    What's your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? What's the first step they should take to turn their vision into a reality?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Love this question. You know, I didn't grow up aspiring to be an entrepreneur (most female entrepreneurs say this..). Be true to yourself and don't lose your passion. Be prepared for a bumpy road. As you go through these inevitable "bumps" be sure to take a step back and remind yourself of why you are made the decision to be an entrepreneur. There will be people who will stand by you and there will be those who leave your side. Don't let this get in your way. Step 1: Find your village of support Step 2: Clearly communicate your plan (big idea, why it's important to address, how you will address it and why people should get behind it, etc.) Step 3: Don't be afraid to ask for help

      Love this question. You know, I didn't grow up aspiring to be an entrepreneur (most female entrepreneurs say this..). Be true to yourself and don't lose your passion. Be prepared for a bumpy road. As you go through these inevitable "bumps" be sure to take a step back and remind yourself of why you are made the decision to be an entrepreneur. There will be people who will stand by you and there will be those who leave your side. Don't let this get in your way. Step 1: Find your village of support Step 2: Clearly communicate your plan (big idea, why it's important to address, how you will address it and why people should get behind it, etc.) Step 3: Don't be afraid to ask for help

  • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
    Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
    over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

    The Alvarez's have arrived and are ready to answering your questions!

    The Alvarez's have arrived and are ready to answering your questions!

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      We are still here if anyone else has questions!

      We are still here if anyone else has questions!

  • Sarah Fein
    over 2 years ago

    This is great for all moms. How did you all turn this from a dream into a reality? Are there competitors?

    This is great for all moms. How did you all turn this from a dream into a reality? Are there competitors?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Hi Sarah, we believe it will help millions of moms and their babies. Turning the dream to a reality takes A LOT of patience and dedication. There are speed bumps and hurdles everywhere. Find the people that believe in the vision so they can lift you up and listen to those that don't so you can understand the unbelievers perspective

      Hi Sarah, we believe it will help millions of moms and their babies. Turning the dream to a reality takes A LOT of patience and dedication. There are speed bumps and hurdles everywhere. Find the people that believe in the vision so they can lift you up and listen to those that don't so you can understand the unbelievers perspective

  • Jennifer Ridgeworth
    over 2 years ago London, United Kingdom

    What a beautiful couple and fantastic accomplishment! Congratulations. Will this be available globally or within the US only?

    What a beautiful couple and fantastic accomplishment! Congratulations. Will this be available globally or within the US only?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Hi Jennifer, thank you for your comments. Right now it is only available in the US, we expect to support distribution in other countries the the coming years

      Hi Jennifer, thank you for your comments. Right now it is only available in the US, we expect to support distribution in other countries the the coming years

  • Default
    Guest
    over 2 years ago

    What are other items you all have?

    What are other items you all have?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      We have accessories that go along with the Naya Smart Breast Pump, including classic bottles, storage bag for your accessories (comes in a few different colors). We have other products launching in 2017 that will continue to help parents provide nutrition to their little ones, including the Naya Smart Bottle. Stay tuned!

      We have accessories that go along with the Naya Smart Breast Pump, including classic bottles, storage bag for your accessories (comes in a few different colors). We have other products launching in 2017 that will continue to help parents provide nutrition to their little ones, including the Naya Smart Bottle. Stay tuned!

  • Default
    Guest
    over 2 years ago

    Where will it be sold? What's it like living in the Silicon Valley world? Are people nice?

    Where will it be sold? What's it like living in the Silicon Valley world? Are people nice?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Sold in the US initially. Silicon Valley is busy, but an amazing opportunity. It seems like around every corner is a rewarding journey that can be taken. We also love our proximity to the ocean and the cultural diversity here.

      Sold in the US initially. Silicon Valley is busy, but an amazing opportunity. It seems like around every corner is a rewarding journey that can be taken. We also love our proximity to the ocean and the cultural diversity here.

  • Default
    Guest
    over 2 years ago

    What's it like being married and being business partners? Is that hard?

    What's it like being married and being business partners? Is that hard?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Hi Amanda, We both actually love it. It's been fun, stressful, and rewarding. We love that our passions are aligned. We believe the key to it us both understanding and respecting each other strengths and communicating often. It may not be fore everyone, but it's right for our family!

      Hi Amanda, We both actually love it. It's been fun, stressful, and rewarding. We love that our passions are aligned. We believe the key to it us both understanding and respecting each other strengths and communicating often. It may not be fore everyone, but it's right for our family!

  • Default
    Guest
    over 2 years ago

    How did you all meet?

    How did you all meet?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      We actually met on CalTrain, a local commuter train here in the Bay Area. Janica was reading a medical book, and Jeff was intrigued. So Jeff asked Janica out :)

      We actually met on CalTrain, a local commuter train here in the Bay Area. Janica was reading a medical book, and Jeff was intrigued. So Jeff asked Janica out :)

      • Default
        Guest
        over 2 years ago

        Was it love at first site? Or was there chemistry? I think there has to be a spark but my family disagrees.

        Was it love at first site? Or was there chemistry? I think there has to be a spark but my family disagrees.

        • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
          Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
          over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

          Good question. There was definite chemistry. Jeff was in head over heels from the beginning, Janica took some convincing ;)

          Good question. There was definite chemistry. Jeff was in head over heels from the beginning, Janica took some convincing ;)

  • Default
    Guest
    over 2 years ago

    What is the best tip for new parents?

    What is the best tip for new parents?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Hug your children often, cover them with kisses, inspire them with stories and talk to them about your passions. We regularly talk to our kids about Naya, it keeps them involved. They even said Dad is going to get breast pump parts for Christmas :)

      Hug your children often, cover them with kisses, inspire them with stories and talk to them about your passions. We regularly talk to our kids about Naya, it keeps them involved. They even said Dad is going to get breast pump parts for Christmas :)

  • Default
    Guest
    over 2 years ago

    How does this work? I have to ask, is this safe to use? I always worry with putting smart technology near my body because of a fear of cancer. How have you all been able to develop the product, making sure it doesn't send off anything harmful?

    How does this work? I have to ask, is this safe to use? I always worry with putting smart technology near my body because of a fear of cancer. How have you all been able to develop the product, making sure it doesn't send off anything harmful?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      Hi Diana, thank you for this question. We answered this, but maybe it didn't post correctly. I'm (Janica) actually a cancer survivor, so this question hits close to home. We went through several safety tests, including emissions, material safety, and electrical safety. We passed all of these tests and received clearance by the FDA earlier this year. Lastly, the connectivity element of our tech does not come into direct contact with breast tissue or breast milk. I hope this helps!

      Hi Diana, thank you for this question. We answered this, but maybe it didn't post correctly. I'm (Janica) actually a cancer survivor, so this question hits close to home. We went through several safety tests, including emissions, material safety, and electrical safety. We passed all of these tests and received clearance by the FDA earlier this year. Lastly, the connectivity element of our tech does not come into direct contact with breast tissue or breast milk. I hope this helps!

  • Kelly Hudson
    over 2 years ago

    Was it hard to raise funds for this product? Especially male investors? What was their reaction?

    Was it hard to raise funds for this product? Especially male investors? What was their reaction?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      We get this question a lot. Some male investors really understand our passion because they have some connection to the problems we are solving. The others that do not understand, have helped us to better tell the story around the opportunity and why this innovation is important to mothers. Naya has been successful at raising capital and we have amazing supporters. It helps that we have tried to focus only on those who we feel would understand the unmet needs we are trying to address.

      We get this question a lot. Some male investors really understand our passion because they have some connection to the problems we are solving. The others that do not understand, have helped us to better tell the story around the opportunity and why this innovation is important to mothers. Naya has been successful at raising capital and we have amazing supporters. It helps that we have tried to focus only on those who we feel would understand the unmet needs we are trying to address.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    over 2 years ago New York, NY, United States

    So great to have you all as AAMA guests! How do you see Naya Health continuing to evolve? What are your short-term and long-term goals for the company?

    So great to have you all as AAMA guests! How do you see Naya Health continuing to evolve? What are your short-term and long-term goals for the company?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      We have big dreams for Naya as she grows up! Short-term goal: fixing the most urgent need for millions of women = breast pump technology. Long-term goal: expanding into adjacent markets where we can continue to help families thrive through insightful tech and personalized support.

      We have big dreams for Naya as she grows up! Short-term goal: fixing the most urgent need for millions of women = breast pump technology. Long-term goal: expanding into adjacent markets where we can continue to help families thrive through insightful tech and personalized support.

  • Rachel Borowicz
    Rachel Borowicz Software Engineer & Arts Philanthropist
    over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

    Congratulations on an incredible innovation! What most motivates you to help moms? Is it helping with work-life integration, or health, or scientific breakthrough that most drove you to develop this invention?

    Congratulations on an incredible innovation! What most motivates you to help moms? Is it helping with work-life integration, or health, or scientific breakthrough that most drove you to develop this invention?

    • Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
      Janica and Jeffery Alvarez Co-Founders of Naya Health
      over 2 years ago San Francisco, CA, United States

      I struggled a lot during my transition back to work after having my babies..and at one point it made me question my abilities as a mother, especially around providing nutrition to my baby. I didn't like that feeling. So, Jeff and I started discussing ways in which we could ease this struggle.

      I struggled a lot during my transition back to work after having my babies..and at one point it made me question my abilities as a mother, especially around providing nutrition to my baby. I didn't like that feeling. So, Jeff and I started discussing ways in which we could ease this struggle.


Janica and Jeffery Alvarez
Co-Founders of Naya Health

Naya Health is a company focused on improving nutritional health through reimagined consumer technology for mom and baby. After Janica Alvarez struggled to provide breast milk for her three sons using leading consumer breast pumps, she and her husband, Jeff, realized that hydraulics could [...]

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