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Media Release

Alcon kicks off SYSTANE® campaign with businesswoman Barbara Corcoran, bringing Real Relief to female entrepreneurs

  • SYSTANE® Lubricant Eye Drops and crowdfunding platform iFundWomen launch grant and coaching program for Visionary Women
  • $40,000 in Real Relief grants available to help launch and sustain entrepreneurial businesses since women are less likely to receive start-up funding
  • Corcoran is one of 30 million people in the U.S. – a majority of whom are women – who have dry eye symptoms

Fort Worth, Texas, July 11, 2019 – Alcon, the global leader in eye care, is kicking off a new program from SYSTANE® aimed at funding women entrepreneurs and their business ideas. Launched in partnership with iFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform designed for female entrepreneurs, Real Relief for Visionary Women will give applicants an opportunity to be considered for financial relief and expert coaching for their business ventures. Barbara Corcoran, businesswoman and TV personality, teamed up with SYSTANE® since she knows firsthand how small things can make the difference in launching and sustaining a successful business – whether it’s seed funding, strong mentorship or not losing your focus due to dry eye symptoms.

“I started my company with a loan for just $1,000 and overcame many challenges while setting up my business, including the distraction and discomfort caused by dry eye,” said Corcoran. “SYSTANE® Complete gives me the relief I need to focus on growing my company and performing at my best. I’m incredibly excited to partner with SYSTANE®, the #1 doctor recommended brand of dry eye drops, to share my story and help the next generation of female entrepreneurs make their innovative ideas a reality with Real Reliefgrants.”

Entrepreneurs can visit SYSTANE.com to apply for an opportunity to share their entrepreneurship story and experiences with dry eye. With a total of $40,000 of grants available, eight entrepreneurs will be selected to receive a $5,000 Real Relief grant and a one-year supply of SYSTANE® Complete, Alcon’s most advanced dry eye solution. Winners will also receive access to educational opportunities and coaching services through iFundWomen. One grand prize winner will also receive the opportunity to discuss her business and its challenges with Ms. Corcoran. Grant winners will be announced on November 19, 2019 – Women’s Entrepreneurship Day – and may be showcased on SYSTANE.com.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Barbara and iFundWomen to help provide real relief for visionary women,” said Sergio Duplan, Region President of Alcon North America. “We know day-to-day challenges like struggling with dry eye – a condition that affects many women – can be a barrier in the demanding life of entrepreneurs. We want this program to encourage the next Barbara Corcoran to pursue their dreams while staying focused on performing at their best.”

Female entrepreneurs face unique challenges compared to industry counterparts when starting a business. According to the 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,1 72 percent of female owners say lack of capital and cash flow is a top challenge; 48 percent of female founders note lack of mentors as a factor holding them back; and 31 percent cite the lack of support system as a hurdle to business ownership.

“Women are starting businesses 2.5 times faster than the national average, and providing access to capital, coaching and connections to drive action in launching and growing businesses is critical,” said Karen Cahn, founder and CEO of iFundWomen. “iFundWomen has made it our mission to support female innovators and their ideas, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with SYSTANE® in providing relief to women with access to funding and startup coaching.”

For more information on the Real Relief for Visionary Women grant contest and SYSTANE® Complete, Alcon’s most advanced dry eye solution, visit www.SYSTANE.com or follow SYSTANE® on Facebook.

About Dry Eye

Dry eye occurs when the quantity and/or quality of tears fails to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated. Dry eye causes a scratchy sensation or the feeling that something is in the eye. Other symptoms include stinging or burning, episodes of excess tearing that follow periods of dryness, discharge, pain and redness in the eye. People with dry eye may also feel as if their eyelids are heavy and may experience blurred vision. The risk of developing dry eye increases with advancing age.

About the Systane Family of Products

Systane® lubricant eye drops have been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of dry eye, providing immediate, long-lasting protection and comfort. The Systane brand is the best-selling dry eye franchise in artificial tear solutions and is the #1 doctor-recommended brand. Systane Complete is indicated as a first-line treatment option for people who suffer from evaporative dry eye, aqueous tear-deficient dry eye or mixed dry eye. While Systane Ultra is designed for dry eye with aqueous deficient patients, Systane Balance lubricant eye drops are designed specifically for patients with dry eye associated with Meibomian gland dysfunction.


This communication does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for or purchase any securities of Alcon. This publication may contain certain forward-looking statements concerning the Company and its business. Such statements involve certain risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such statements. Readers should therefore not place undue reliance on these statements, particularly not in connection with any contract or investment decision. The Company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.


  1. 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, Commissioned by American Express 2018 Women in Business Trends, Guidant Financial

About Alcon

Alcon helps people see brilliantly. As the global leader in eye care with a heritage spanning more than seven decades, we offer the broadest portfolio of products to enhance sight and improve people’s lives. Our Surgical and Vision Care products touch the lives of more than 260 million people in over 140 countries each year living with conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases and refractive errors. Our more than 20,000 associates are enhancing the quality of life through innovative products, partnerships with eye care professionals and programs that advance access to quality eye care. Learn more at www.alcon.com.

Alcon Media Relations

Blake Overby
Alcon North America Communications
+ 1 817 551 4328 (direct)
+ 1 682 321 2897 (mobile)
[email protected]

Alcon Investor Relations

Christina Cheng
+ 41 589 112 110 (Geneva)
+ 1 817 615 2789 (Fort Worth)
[email protected]