Serial Entrepreneur with total exits exceeding $1.5B, Angel Investor, Founder of the Pinkubator, CEO of Sprout Pharmaceuticals.
Cindy Eckert is a highly regarded entrepreneur, a strong advocate for female entrepreneurship, a pharmaceutical leader and one of the few women to have ever sold a company for a billion dollars. The New York Times called her pharmaceutical product the “drug of a generation” and Fortune called her a “tireless force of nature.” Associates of hers call her unapologetically pink.
Over a distinguished 24-year career in healthcare, she started and sold two businesses for more than $1.5 billion. Having co-founded and sold Slate Pharmaceuticals, which redefined long lasting testosterone treatment for men, she launched Sprout Pharmaceuticals immediately thereafter.
As Co- Founder & CEO of Sprout, the company broke through with the first ever FDA-approved drug for low sexual desire in women named Addyi — dubbed “female Viagra” by the media. In 2015, Cindy sold the company to Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $1b cash. Everyone that was a part of the original Slate team was gifted shares in Sprout. Shortly after the sale, Valeant became the subject of media scrutiny for the rampant price inflation of their drugs and an SEC investigation related to accounting practices. Not one to sit idly by, Cindy negotiated to reacquire Addyi at no cost, in order to properly launch it into marketplace on her own terms. Not only did she reacquire the drug, she also secured a $25m loan from Valeant to fund initial operating expenses.
Today, Cindy is focused on mentoring, investing in, launching and building other women-led or focused businesses. In 2016, she opened the doors to The Pink Ceiling — a cross between a VC firm, a ‘pinkubator,’ and a consulting enterprise — where she is CEO. At The Pink Ceiling, she has personally invested $15m across 10 different health tech companies at various stages of development. Cindy’s work has been featured in countless major publications including The New York Times, Fast Company, Financial Times, Vanity Fair, Bloomberg, CNBC, CBS, Fox, Yahoo and on the cover feature of Entrepreneur Magazine. Cindy has been an invited speaker at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Ad Week, Inc. Magazine, and many more. She is on a mission to speak to as many women as possible about what it takes to achieve breakthrough business success. It’s no surprise that JJ Ramberg, the host of MSNBC’s Your Business says that “Cindy is one of our favorite guests. Though she has reached a level of success as a founder that most can only dream of, she is incredibly relatable and honest about what it takes to run a business. She offers the perfect combination of inspiration and advice and it’s hard to come away from listening to Cindy speak without wanting to hear more.
Innovation, Disruption & A Billion Dollars Imagine a Pharmaceutical CEO who has built and sold a company for over billion dollars. Did you think of a gray and black suit? Everything about Cindy Eckert is going to surprise you. From her unconventional approach and bold moves, she connects with audiences to prove that being underestimated is just an opportunity to surprise people. In each speech she walks audiences through building her companies from scratch, scaling, and selling them for a combined total exceeding $1.5 billion — and how she paid it forward by starting the The Pink Ceiling, where she has invested $15 million into female led or female focused companies, and provided access to funding and mentorship for women. Most importantly, she details how her hard-learned lessons can be applied to your own professional endeavors, whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or building your own company. After hearing Cindy speak, audiences walk away inspired and equipped with takeaways that include the ripple effect of ownership; how empathy can be a secret weapon of leadership; and how being underestimated can be your greatest competitive advantage, and more. From students to c-suite executives, Cindy is relatable to all kinds of crowds; however, this speech is typically customized and ideal for the following audiences: Sales — Create culture, recruit, build, train and inspire your team Entrepreneurship — Tell your story, perfect the pitch, plan to scale (or build to sell) Healthcare — Stand out in a sea of sameness, challenge the narratives Corporate — Foster an entrepreneurial culture within an established organization College Students — Embrace the workhorse to become the unicorn, overcoming self-doubt, and blazing your own trail Women — Pave a different path and harness the unique abilities women have as leaders
Cindy is a brilliant, irreverent and passionate advocate for women who speaks practically and frankly about the issues that matter most. Her “ been there-done that” story is quite awe inspiring and a slap in the face to those who find comfort in the status quo. All I can say is: Take notes people!