Claire Mann - ChangeXtra
Founded by Claire Mann, NTU Masters Student, ChangeXtra is a platform which aims to support women experiencing menopause, through community, conversation, and care.
Claire is a mature student and a mum of 4, who has had a career in health research. After undergoing redundancy at the start of the pandemic, Claire saw an opportunity to try something new and retrain. She went on to win a scholarship from the Office for Students to complete a master's degree in Data Science at NTU.
As an NTU Student, Claire was able to access a variety of training and development opportunities – particularly surrounding entrepreneurship. This is where Claire developed the Change Xtra business plan. After completing her course, Claire decided to transfer to a placement year in enterprise to work on Change Xtra!
Behind the business
After going through the menopause, Claire was left feeling lost. With multiple trips back and forth from the GP, she felt she had not received the help she really needed. She realised that the main things that helped her through were advice from friends who had already experienced menopause, tracking her symptoms, and monitoring the impacts of medication, diet, and exercise.
Claire wanted her friends and daughters to have a smoother experience with menopause. So, she set out to create a community where women can safely share their experiences, access advice from mentors and use smart technology to better help them understand their menopause journey.
“Change is inevitable but can be positive in many ways. So ChangeXtra was born – from the blood, sweat and tears (literally!) of my own experience and a real desire to make the world better for women.”
“My proudest and most surprising moment so far has been winning 6 prizes at the Ingenuity Impact national business planning competition (when I didn’t expect to win a thing).
But I still feel incredibly proud and humble every time someone lets me know I have helped them in their menopause journey – that’s my main aim! One woman told me that the hour appointment she had with me was the best hour she had in the last 2 years and that really validated why I am doing what I am doing.”
Claire would like to build ChangeXtra into a national business where every woman can access the support needed throughout menopause. She would ultimately like to build an accessible app that helps woman understand their health and how to best manage symptoms.
Not only this, but Claire also aims to collect big data about the menopause that does not already exist, to inform future policy and practice.
NTU Enterprise's role
“I completed as many NTU Enterprise events as I could through the year. I also did the Enterprise award and all the online learning which helped me build my idea and business plan. I entered my plan into the NTU Business Plan competition and won 1st place and £5k funding.
The enterprise team were fantastically supportive with advice around my launch and marketing. When I needed suppliers, they were able to offer great links and put me in touch with students where possible to save costs and share expertise.
I then completed the Headstart scheme and had a supportive mentor. The network was useful to get broad ideas.
Without NTU Enterprise I wouldn’t have been able to
- Fund my app prototype development
- Build a strong network
- Participate in added value learning
- Access students to provide support for ChangeXtra
- Work in the lovely Dryden Enterprise Centre (DEC) space”