Urinary health innovator Uqora is the female-focused investment fund’s first portfolio company to be acquired


Solana Beach, Calif. (July 20, 2021) – Local investment fund Ad Astra Ventures is pleased to announce that one of its portfolio companies, leading urinary health brand Uqora, has been acquired by Pharmavite, the makers of Nature Made® vitamins and supplements. This is the first Ad Astra-backed company to achieve exit status, a significant milestone for both Uqora and the three-year-old investment fund focused on female-led startups. Born and raised in San Diego and founded by partners Jenna Ryan and Spencer Gordon, Uqora addresses urinary health issues with a combination of reactive solutions and proactive care.


“We immediately recognized the power and necessity of Uqora’s science-backed solution for urinary health challenges, as well as Jenna and Spencer’s unwavering commitment to building a scalable company with accessible solutions,” said Allison Long Pettine, who co-founded Ad Astra Ventures in 2018 alongside Vidya Dinamani and Dr. Silvia Mah. “It’s been our greatest honor to play a small but impactful part in the success of their purpose-driven company.”


Experiencing triple-digit growth since its 2017 launch, Uqora was a part of Ad Astra Venture’s first 12-week business accelerator cohort that kicked off in February 2018. Uqora’s founders first got involved with the investment fund after participating in and winning the regional U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2017 InnovateHER Challenge, hosted locally by Ad Astra Ventures’ sister organization, Stella Labs. Jenna Ryan, supported by the advocacy of Stella Labs, went on to win the national InnovateHER Challenge in Washington D.C., a $40,000 prize from the Sara Blakely Foundation, and eventually an investment from Ad Astra Ventures and other prominent angel investors and VCs in San Diego and Southern California.


“We are proud of all that Uqora’s team has done to arrive at this moment; a moment founders dream of,” said Raven O’Neal, executive director of Stella Labs, a nonprofit that supports early-stage startups. “Today we celebrate Uqora and our entire Stella Labs/Ad Astra Ventures community who together have created a proven pipeline that guides female-led companies from early-stage to exit.”


“The San Diego startup ecosystem played an important role in our early days, and we’re grateful for all the support we’ve had along the way and to the awesome team here in San Diego,” said Ryan. “Our goal has always been to get our products into the hands of everyone who needs them, and by joining Pharmavite, we’re well on our way to making that a reality.”


About Ad Astra Ventures:

Founded in 2018 by San Diegans Vidya Dinamani, Allison Long Pettine and Silvia Mah, Ad Astra is dedicated to growing and building female leaders through thoughtful programming and investment opportunities. Among the organization’s programming is a 12-week business accelerator for high-growth startups led by one or more females. With a thriving portfolio of 13 companies to-date, Ad Astra is building a global community of founders, investors, executives and philanthropists who are passionate about putting more women in leadership positions. For more information, please visit adastra.ventures/



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