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SexTech Startup Lora DiCarlo Awarded Govt. Grant

SexTech Startup Lora DiCarlo has been Awarded Government Grant From Oregon Innovation Fund. Lora DiCarlo, a renowned sextech startup announced at SXSW 2019 that the State of Oregon has awarded a $99,637 Business Oregon Enhanced Phase 0 Grant for the commercialization of Osé, the only product designed for hands-free blended orgasms. Using advanced micro-robotics Osé mimics the sensations of a human mouth, tongue, and fingers, for an experience that feels remarkably like a real partner. This is the first time that any state government has recognized sex tech in such a way, illustrating that the State of Oregon sees the mainstream acceptance of devices for women’s sexual health and the potential for quality job creation in the commercialization of R&D in sexual health technology.

What is SexTech?

Sextech is technology, and technology-driven ventures, designed to enhance, innovate and disrupt in every area of human sexuality and human sexual experience.

Why is it important?

Sextech is important because sex and sexuality lie at the heart of everything we are and everything we do.

This fact cannot be overstated. Society’s conflicted attitude toward sex – we all enjoy it but we don’t talk about it – means that sex is defaulted in the public consciousness to an act, a thing we do. But sex is personality. Who we are sexually informs everything to do with how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about others; it informs our relationships, our lives, our happiness.

Sextech is also important precisely because of that conflicted attitude.

No other area of human existence is hedged around with so much shame, embarrassment, guilt and self-torment. How fundamentally important sexuality is to us, combined with how fundamentally conflicted we are about it, makes it the richest possible territory for advances and breakthroughs using technology to disrupt and enhance our experience of sex.

This is important because in a broader context the failure to openly discuss, address, solve for and improve sexual issues lies at the root of many social ills.

From sex trafficking, sexual abuse, rape, sexual violence, intolerance of alternative sexualities, through sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, to unhappy marriages and relationship breakdowns – all can be positively impacted through initiatives designed to change the way we think about and behave around sex.

And ultimately, sextech is important because sex as the universal human usecase makes this the biggest technology market of them all, and therefore potentially far and away the most lucrative.

Lora DiCarlo recently received international attention for its innovative technology when the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas awarded the company an Innovation Award in robotics, but then withdrew the award simply because the product was sexual in nature, notwithstanding that it had been developed in conjunction with a leading university robotics lab at Oregon State University. Lora DiCarlo’s remarkable product development and disruptive presence at CES firmly landed the company in the spotlight on the topic of women’s sexual health and wellness. The company joins the battle with many female-lead companies driving a cultural change and conversation. This state grant helps bring the topic of female sexual health out of the shadows by recognizing sex tech as a legitimate engine for economic growth.

“The program we used fills a critical capital gap for Oregon startups, working with companies to develop and launch new technologies without diluting equity. Lora DiCarlo exhibited some really innovative engineering, solid research, and market potential,” said Nathan Buehler, Communications and Marketing Manager at Business Oregon. “The company’s strong program application and its R&D history with Oregon State University signal Lora DiCarlo has a great runway in front of them. We’re happy to work with this Oregon startup, which is already driving towards commercialization and creating jobs in Oregon.”

Culturally, the continued dismantling of the stigma around sexual health and wellness allows the opening of markets for female/vagina centered sexual health companies that have previously been closed, such as marketing on social media platforms. Lora DiCarlo hopes to end the double standard whereby advertising men’s sexual health products, such as erectile dysfunction drugs, have been allowed, but women’s sexual health products are stigmatized. Further, this news implies the potential for a multi-billion dollar market in sex tech.

“The State of Oregon’s recognition is significant because it acknowledges the mainstream acceptance of sexual pleasure devices and the economic potential of female entrepreneurs, like myself,” said Lora Haddock, Founder and CEO at Lora DiCarlo. “Pair that with the opportunity to help amplify us in our mission to bring the topic of female sexual health and wellness to the masses. The Oregon Innovation fund grant will help us as we commercialize Osé, while also generating more jobs in Oregon. We are beyond excited to receive this year’s grant.”

About 
Lora DiCarlo is a woman-run start-up that is determined to change the face of sex tech. Proudly sex-positive and gender-inclusive, Lora DiCarlo’s goal is to create products and educational resources that promote female and LGBTQ+ sexual empowerment. The company has partnered with Oregon State University’s College of Engineering to develop a range of products to close the orgasm gap and make blended orgasms a right rather than a reach. Lora DiCarlo’s inaugural product Osé will be available for purchase Fall 2019.

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