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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

This Young Social Entrepreneur Hopes To Save 1M Babies

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Jane Chen’s Embrace Innovations, a laureate of the 2012 Tech Awards and winner of the 2015 Laureate Impact Award, is working to save 1 million babies over the next five years.

Chen explains why so many babies are at risk, “Each year, 15,000,000 babies are born preterm; more than 1,000,000 of those babies will die. This is largely due to poor healthcare available in developing countries. Many of these deaths are preventable. Unfortunately, a prevalent number of hospitals simply cannot afford the high cost of current incubators and are in dire need of a low cost alternative. In addition, many of these births occur in rural areas, where electricity may not even be an option so a sustainable solution is needed.”

Enter Embrace Innovations.

“We have created a low cost, sustainable infant warmer that keeps preterm babies at an optimal body temperature. It works without constant need of electricity, making it ideal for rural areas in developing countries and has already saved over 150,000 babies. In order to help save more babies and reach our 1,000,000 baby goal, we have created a unique US commercial line of baby products called Little Lotus that will help save a vulnerable baby with the Embrace infant warmer for every Little Lotus baby product sold. Little Lotus baby products are well-designed and technologically innovative, so this allows people to help their babies rest at a comfortable temperature and also help make a collective difference in developing countries,” Chen says.

Chen is already making great progress toward her vision of a world where preterm babies don’t die for a lack of basic care. She says, “We envision saving millions of preterm babies worldwide with the Embrace infant warmer and through the 1:1 model with Little Lotus. We are also working on launching more innovative products to bring to the market to help reduce infant and maternal mortality.”

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Chen will join me for a live discussion about her work to save 1 million babies per year. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Embrace Innovations:

Twitter: @EmbraceInnov @littlelotusbaby

Embrace Innovations is a social enterprise startup that aims to create innovative products to improve the health and well-being of infants all over the world. Our first product, the Embrace infant warmer, was created to help the 15 million premature and low birth-weight babies born every year. The Embrace infant warmer costs about 1% of a traditional incubator and works without constant electricity, making it suitable for developing countries. To date, the Embrace infant warmer has helped over 150,000 babies.

Embrace Innovations recently created a consumer line of baby products called Little Lotus, which uses NASA inspired technology to keep babies at a perfect temperature. The line includes baby swaddles, sleeping bags and blankets that utilizes similar technology to the Embrace infant warmer, which help keep babies at an ideal body temperature. The product has a 1:1 model: for every Little Lotus baby product sold, a vulnerable baby will be helped in the developing country by the Embrace infant warmer. The goal is to help save the lives of 1,000,000 preterm infants around the world with the Embrace infant warmer, with the help of Little Lotus. It’s a way for parents to care for their babies, and it’s a way for families with the resources to help make an enormous difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

Jane Chen, courtesy of Embrace Innovations.

Jane Chen, courtesy of Embrace Innovations.

Chen’s bio:

Twitter: @janemariechen

Jane Marie Chen is the co-founder and CEO of Embrace Innovations, which is estimated to have helped over 150,000 babies to date. Prior to Embrace, Chen worked with nonprofit organizations on healthcare issues in developing countries. She spent several years as the Program Director of a startup HIV/AIDS nonprofit in China (Chi Heng Foundation) and worked for the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative in Tanzania. She also worked at Monitor Group as a management consultant, advising Fortune 500 companies. Chen has been a TED Speaker, and was selected as one of Forbes’ Impact 30 in 2011. In 2011, Chen was also recognized as the Inspirational Young Alumni of the Year by Pomona College, and was the keynote speaker at Stanford’s Women in Management event. She is featured in Stanford’s “Tradition of Innovation,” and speaks at various international conferences, including the Skoll World Forum and World Economic Forum. In 2012, Chen was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and was featured in Dove’s “Real Role Models” campaign for women and girls. Chen is a TED Senior Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, and Rainer Arnhold Fellow. In 2013, Chen and the other co-founders of Embrace were awarded the prestigious Economist Innovation Award, under the category of Social and Economic Innovation. In the same year, Chen and her co-founder were also recognized as Schwab Social Entrepreneurs of the Year by the World Economic Forum.

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