On the last day of exams of my first semester of the Required Curriculum (RC) year, I walked out of Aldrich with my sectionmate, Dan. We had gotten to know each other through section, playing intramurals together and enjoying the rollercoaster of our first semester at Harvard Business School. On our way to Shad, we struck up a conversation about recruiting as most RCs do around that time of year. Dan knew that I was trans because I had done a MyTake earlier in the semester on National Coming Out Day, organized by the PRIDE Club. I talked about bridging my personal identity with my professional background in health tech.

He mentioned that the venture capital firm, General Catalyst, he worked for before school had just invested in a trans telehealth company. My jaw must have dropped on the sidewalk. I had thought it would be at least a decade before VC firms would take an interest in LGBTQ+ health.

I asked him to repeat: “Do you mean trans like…transgender? Like me?”

He casually replied: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure… but I can connect you to someone who will be more helpful than me.”

And just like that, I found at HBS exactly what I was hoping for -- but not the way I expected: Plume.

I spent five hours on Christmas Eve in a hotel restaurant with one of the co-founders connecting over our passion for the space. It just so happened that we were both home in North Carolina for the holidays. In fact, both of the co-founders and myself were students at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the same time. While they were receiving their medical degrees, I was graduating from college. I joined the team as an advisor shortly after winter break.

This sentiment extended into my second semester as COVID-19 changed campus life dramatically. As international trips were cancelled and recruiting heated up, I continued to find myself thinking about Plume. Each case in Strategy and TEM transformed into a lens through which I looked at our mission and market. Midway through the semester, I joined the team formally as Head of Growth.

Plume is the first health technology company built for the transgender community. There are more than 1.4 million trans-identified people in the US, yet it is still one of the most underserved communities when it comes to safe, accessible and reliable health care. At Plume, we provide safe, expert, and affirming hormone replacement therapy through the convenience of a smartphone guided by a team that is predominantly trans. 

Our vision is to transform health care for every trans life through our mission to get trans people the care they deserve by leveraging amazing technology. We’re currently available in 12 states, which represents over 50% of the trans population and we’re growing rapidly. Plume is available to anybody 18 years or older who desires medical hormone therapy to live more in line with their gender identity.

I am beyond thrilled that every day I get to increase access to life-saving gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy to the trans community. Each day I see a new lesson from RC year become relevant.

I came to Harvard Business School to find my voice and make a difference. To do this, I knew I had to integrate my personal and professional aspirations. During RC year, I constantly asked myself: what is it that I am uniquely positioned to do? Through the learning, introspection and connection-making that is the heart of the RC curriculum, I found what I was looking for -- and it is even better than I expected.

Soltan Bryce
Co-President, PRIDE & Health Care Clubs
Section F ‘21

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