Laura Katz_SocialCapital
As a Social Capital leader, Laura Katz is empowering parents with this basic need of infants--and also in the environment she has created as an employer. Helaina

A black market for breast milk?! A podcast Laura Katz happened to hear about parents going to such lengths to feed their babies opened her eyes to a challenge--and an opportunity.

As the founder of Helaina explains, "At that moment, as a food scientist myself, I thought, 'Well, we're pouring all this innovation into alternative dairy, alternative meat,' and I was watching those industries start to grow and I thought, 'Can we be doing the same thing here and empower the parents that are looking to all corners of the internet wherever they can to get something to feed their baby?'"

Key are the proteins found naturally in breast milk that provide significant health benefits. And, while infant formula is her initial focus, she also has her sights set on a much broader picture of putting immunology at the forefront of what we all eat.

"Big picture, how we see this technology growing, is to span so many different types of products where we use food to manage our health," Laura shares, as she talks about the current effort to bring Helaina's first product to market.

Laura is very direct as she talks about the contamination issue at the Abbott facility that caused widespread hardship, and the importance of a strong relationship between the industry and its regulators.

She is equally forthright in explaining the benefits of a capitalistic business model in achieving her goal to help people: "We can touch more people, faster, if we can build a business around it. And that's our goal--we want to use science for good, to capture what we've built and disseminate value and the health outcome we know our product will have to as many people as we can." She relates experience with investors that indicates many are eager to put their money literally where their mouth is to help her move forward.

In fact, the future promises to be much broader than infant formula. Examples of different areas she hopes to tackle include nutrition care for the elderly and, Laura shares, "Athletes are very interested in the power of breast milk and the ability for breast milk to help build muscle."

Laura identifies with the need even stronger now that she is a mom. As a Social Capital leader, she is empowering parents with this basic need of infants--and also in the environment she has created as an employer.

It's a new world for nutrition and our health. Watch the video below and let Laura tell you how and why Helaina is poised to disrupt an industry.