Episode 97
March 15, 2022

Meeting Every Need

with Ryan Woodbury, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Needed

About this episode

Joining the show today is Ryan Woodbury, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Needed. With 97% of pregnant women in the US taking prenatal vitamins, and 95% of women still deficient in key nutrients, Needed is on a mission to empower women to find real nourishment on their journey to motherhood and beyond. In this episode, Ryan shares with us her story from growing up in California to attending boarding school in Connecticut, to studying environmental science, and then choosing to pursue a job in finance, to earning her MBA at Stanford and starting Needed. She talks about taking some bad advice from a board member, why the people you work with throughout your career matter so much, why she hired a partnership coach, and where she goes to get re-energized to help keep her focused and motivated each day.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • Her life growing up in Pasadena, California, with dreams of becoming a marine biologist, and her first entrepreneurial journey of breeding bunnies and selling them to local pet stores
  • What it was like going to a boarding school in Connecticut, being far away from family
  • How leaving college she was unsure of what she wanted to do, so she decides to go the investment banking route
  • Her experience working at Goldman Sachs, and how it provided her with the skills needed to continue in the investment world 
  • The important things she’s learned in working in early startups, that the people you have around you are the most important, and facing personnel challenges
  • Why she feels it important to have a Co-Founder and do partnership coaching together 
  • How she and her co-founder's internal look into their own nutritional health led to the realization that current prenatal vitamins wouldn’t do everything they needed, leading to the idea of Needed
  • The challenges of product development, from testing the vitamins, focusing on perfecting the product, and getting it validated
  • The bad advice given from a board member, and how it taught her to always listen to her gut
  • The limiting beliefs she had to overcome in fundraising
  • What's next for Needed, from new products and Needed Change Makers, a collective of 100+ practitioners

To Find Out More:



“I'm someone that's very motivated by big problems, but also I am motivated when you can see a step-wise path of how you can actually solve it.” 

“The people that you work with matter so much.”

“Life is too short to have people exhaustion lay on you.”

“It was helpful to have both because I think she pushed me in ways that I had so many fears that maybe wouldn't have taken to the next step. And then I forced us to do partnership coaching from day one.”

“We were just surprised in seeing the gamut of issues that they had, from fertility to hyperemesis all throughout pregnancy, through postpartum depression and the list goes on, but nutrition was never spoken about as like a tool that could help them.”

“We both did some pretty extensive nutritional testing for ourselves and found we were both very nutritionally deficient, which led us to be like if our picture looks like this, and if we were going to be pregnant at this point in time, it really isn't an optimal picture, and prenatal supplements as they exist right now, wouldn't get anywhere close in terms of filling in the gaps for our needs.”

“We wanted to be supported better when we were mothers one day.”

“There was a problem that captivated us both as it mattered for our lives going forward and our friends, and we felt that we could make an impact to make it better.”

“We were looking to make access to that optimal nutrition support much more accessible, both through better products and through better education around the issues.”

“You need to remember as a founder to listen to your own gut.”
“My toughest part of fundraising was figuring out how I could reconcile the two of, we absolutely have a big vision, we’re going after a big problem, but how do you paint that story in a way that doesn't feel out of integrity for where we are right now?”

“You need to give yourself whatever you need, such that you can continue to sustain and be able to meet your needs, and I think that can often be forgotten as part of the entrepreneurial journey and lead to burnout."

“Just stay authentic to yourself. Find areas where you have a growth mindset, keep improving, but if you can continue to do things that are in line with your true self, that's the right path to be on and that's what you need to look for.”

Read the transcript

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