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Helene Rutledge
Founder at UPGRAID


Helene believes in challenging the status quo, for collaborative solutions, for an improved quality of life for all. She has worked at some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world (Pfizer, GSK, New Avon, and Nature’s Bounty), innovating health, sustainable and smart-growth business, product development and consumer marketing.

Currently, Helene is Founder of UPGRAID, the world’s first scientifically backed, clinically studied, fully organic and plant-based product line. The UPGRAID team believes, with the right ingredients and education, we can all get a little better every day. Its first product is a daily organic, produced with natural ingredients, to promote a healthy inflammatory response.

Why? “As a chemical engineer, we believed chemicals were the path to better living, but I did not think twice about their impact. When I got pregnant, everything changed. I cut synthetic chemicals and switched to an organic diet. I saw consumers looking for natural products, too, but no solutions that were safe AND effective. I wanted to create a company for these products, putting people first with a focus on prevention and transparency.”

Helene is also Founder of Caliper Innovation, designing, developing, and delivering products and solutions for the CPG and healthcare industries. Prior, Helene was Chief Innovation Officer of New Avon brought in to build a virtual R&D organization. Helene led a similar effort at Nature’s Bounty (NBTY), restructuring technical services.

Helene’s ability to customize solutions for growth comes from her previous career. She led start-up companies and global teams in Fortune 500 companies, including Pfizer and GSK. Her shift from technical leader to entrepreneurial executive came from her role at GoSMILE, where she established a virtual development and supply chain network and launched an award-winning product. She then led Global Open Innovation for GSK Consumer Healthcare, partnering with academia and entrepreneurs.

Helene has an Executive MBA from NYU Stern School, where she learned principles of sustainable business. She has a BE in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College and returns to lecture to aspiring entrepreneurs. Helene has completed marathons and triathlons for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She serves as the family nutritionist for her husband and two teenagers in NYC.

Helene Rutledge's Network

Agenda Sessions

  • Budgets vs Burn Rates - Thinking Like a Start -Up to Increase Innovation