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When She Founded with Somer Hamrick, CEO & Founder of Channel Clinical is an insider view on what it really takes to start and scale a company in STEM. Each episode takes a deeper look into one such business venture and the woman who started it. Industry mavens describe their personal path to entrepreneurship through one-on-one conversations with a host who has been figuring it out herself. Somer Hamrick launched her own company in early 2019. With 20 years’ experience in business development and half that specifically in global health and clinical research, Somer found herself having to reach outside the life science community for support and mentorship. She created When She Founded as a platform to share what she has learned and is still learning, on her journey. This podcast demystifies some of the steps for female founders in industries where representation is lacking.

Apr 16, 2020

Heidi Hertel is the founder of Fitz Frames, an organization that makes custom, 3D printed eyewear for children. Her company leverages technology to solve the country’s eyeglass problem for children. As a mother of three, Heidi knows the challenges parents and children face when searching for the perfect eyeglasses. She is passionate about making it fun and easy to shop for eyewear. Prior to forming Fitz, Heidi worked as the Director of Public Affairs and Philanthropic Strategy at Griffin Schake Consulting, as a Political Consultant at Capital Strategies, and as a Government Affairs Manager at two organizations in Washington, D.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Tufts University as well as a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.


Heidi joins me today to share her career journey from Capitol Hill as a political consultant to jumping into the world of entrepreneurship. She shares what inspired her to pivot from her corporate career into entrepreneurship and what makes her company’s 3D printed glasses unique among her competitors. She explains how she raised startup capital to launch her business, how she built her team to scale, and how she developed a go-to-market strategy for success. She also shares how her company is planning a short-term pivot to apply their technology and manufacturing facility to help frontline healthcare professionals with Fitz Protect eyewear.


“Entrepreneurs are really a different breed of people who really do see the possible instead of the roadblocks.” - Heidi Hertel


Today on When She Founded:


  • Heidi’s journey from Capitol Hill to forming a pediatric eyeglass manufacturing company
  • The importance of leaning on your entrepreneurial peers and network
  • How she developed an app to make it fun and easy for parents and children to find the perfect eyewear
  • How she raised startup capital early on and how she built her team to scale her company
  • How she developed her go-to-market strategy
  • What makes Fitz Frames glasses unique compared to other 3D printed eyewear
  • How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted her business
  • Heidi’s future predictions and plans for Fitz Frames
  • The company’s plans to pivot their product offerings to help frontline healthcare professionals during the coronavirus pandemic



Resources Mentioned:



Connect with Heidi Hertel:



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