Alum sells breastfeeding device to national neonatal brand

A Cornell alumnus and his wife recently sold their healthtech company to a national neonatal manufacturer, meaning their breastfeeding supplementation device will now be available to new moms around the world.

The Bridge, invented by Kate Spivak, a physician assistant and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, helps moms who have low milk supply. Her device includes a thin silicone, nipple-shaped cover with a built-in tube that allows moms to attach a syringe filled with additional breastmilk or formula.

four people outside a house

Credit: Provided

Max Spivak ’07, MBA ’14, MILR ’15, is pictured with wife Kate Spivak and their two children, the device Kate invented and their patents.

Spivak and her husband Max Spivak ’07, MBA ’14, MILR ’15, launched the business in 2018 and sold it in December to Neotech, a company known for its products that serve neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

“Neotech is primarily known as a NICU company, but the Bridge is a natural progression into the mother baby market,” Craig McCrary, Neotech president said in a press release.

The idea for the Bridge came from Kate Spivak’s work with new moms in Ithaca, N.Y., who struggled with the pressures they felt about breastfeeding. The Spivaks became even more passionate about the product when they needed it themselves, for their son Matthew.

“When we started the product, we knew it would involve a mindset change, not just an incrementally different way for moms to solve their breastfeeding problems,” Spivak said. “We started by selling direct to consumers, but our goal was always to sell to hospitals, where we can support moms best. Once we started selling to hospitals, they used it in regular maternity wards with huge success.”

Max Spivak said the entrepreneurial journey has been filled with ups and downs, but the couple kept focusing on the social impact the product was having for moms.

“Customer feedback was the main thing that kept us going,” he said. “We just never stopped. I was taking customer service calls in the middle of the night, our team was shipping products on weekends, sometimes Kate and I would even physically deliver products to people.”

Kate Spivak continues her medical career, but will stay on as a consultant with Neotech. Max Spivak said he will continue on his entrepreneurial journey – “ideas keep coming into my mind.”

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