Laura Katz

Laura Katz, food scientist, is Founder and CEO of Helaina. Founded in 2019, Helaina is the first company to bring the immune-nourishing proteins in breast milk to a new category of infant formula. Disrupting the infant formula category which has been stagnant for decades, Helaina has raised more than $25 million, including $20 million in Series A funding (co-led by Spark Capital and Siam Capital) announced in November 2021. Helaina is based in New York City. In leveraging fermentation to create a new category of infant formula, Laura recognized an opportunity to support parents who, in the U.S., often have insufficient parental leave policies. Helaina was founded on the belief that breastfeeding should not define the health of a child or the worth of a parent. Laura became NYU’s youngest ever adjunct professor in Food Science & Technology in 2017 and was featured in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2022. She has presented at conferences, including Collision, Food Hack, Fortune Most Powerful Women NextGen, Future Food Tech - Alternative Proteins, and Web Summit. Prior to Helaina, Laura developed food products for NUGGS, Plated, and Dylan’s Candy Bar. Laura has reached viral success as a food scientist, generating $60M+ views via an 11-episode stint as the expert food scientist for Epicurious’ 4-Levels video series. She earned a Master’s in Food Studies from NYU, and a Bachelor of Sciences in Food Science and Technology from Western University. In her free time, she can be found hanging out with her husband, son Leo, and their Italian Water Dog, Fontina Prosciutto, and writing recipes in hopes of one day publishing a cookbook.

Work & Motherhood

Parental leave isn’t enough

Here’s why employers must support parents beyond infancy.