Mom knows best, right? In the world of parenting, most definitely! These women have created six groundbreaking businesses that are making lives easier for parents all over the world.
Little Spoon believes your baby’s food should never be older than your baby. Makes perfect sense, but in reality the shelf-stable baby food that we get at the store is much older than the food that we’re giving our littles should be. Enter Little Spoon, the company that’s rapidly revolutionizing the baby food category. Their vision is to bring nutritious meals and snacks to babies and children everywhere through a convenient, direct-to-consumer subscription model.
Cofounder Michelle Muller states: "Having had three kids before 30, I know how hard it is to feed our babies healthy options without spending hours in the kitchen. Little Spoon will provide an alternative for new parents in 2017 by optimizing the health of your baby, but also leaving a lasting impact on your baby’s cognitive development, including their motor and speech skills, sense of smell, taste palette and general eating habits. Being a parent is hard enough. The one thing no parent should be asked to do is compromise the health of their child. With Little Spoon, parents now have the benefit of feeding their kids the freshest and healthiest food without taking precious time out of their day.”
Until recently, scheduling classes for your little one was just as challenging as doing your taxes. Booking things like baby yoga, art classes, and math tutoring was handled by a multiplicity of providers, requiring individual scheduling through phone calls (who has the time?) and paying by check (any idea where you last saw your checkbook?) Sawyer provides the solution for that dilemma; it is an online marketplace for parents to discover, book and manage local classes, camps, and activities for their toddlers.
"Sawyer has reimagined the way parents can access education by bringing all of the education providers online. Gone are the days of listservs, word-of-mouth marketing and checkbooks. Now, parents can easily discover, book and manage their child's next educational adventure through our seamless user-friendly platform!" - Marissa Alden, cofounder
When a friend or relative announces they’re having a baby, we jump to find the perfect gift. Finally, there’s a company that focuses on expectant moms and meeting their needs while pregnant. The Stork Bag is a reusable subscription bag (think BirchBox but for moms-to-be) curated to each contain 8-12 products to meet your trimester and postpartum needs. Once the expectant mom uses the goodies in the bag, she can continue to use said bag! Unlike other pregnancy subscription services on the market, all products in the Stork Bag are OBGYN-approved.
"The Stork Bag is revolutionizing parenting by redirecting the attention back on the expectant mother when it comes to prenatal gifting. We believe that more focus should be given to pampering moms during pregnancy, which is why we've enhanced the pregnancy shopping experience by creating trimester-specific, reusable care packages, " explains cofounder Ericka Perry.
Preparing for your baby has never been so easy! Gugu Guru is the customized baby registry website that uses style quizzes to curate a baby registry based on a parent's personal style and lifestyle. It is a game-changer for parents because no longer do they have to sift through 10,000 bottles, strollers and cribs, but can just take our style quizzes. After they do so, we suggest items based on their house, personal style, and car choices, among others. They are then able to find products that are custom-tailored to suit your tastes and living situation.
“Gugu Guru is revolutionizing parenting because the site is innovating the baby registry and overall product-selection experience, in a way that nobody has before. Parents can now cut through the noise and discover the best products for their families from across the web, in a way that is intuitive and fun, and not overwhelming,” says cofounder Monica Banks.
Hawk + Sloane
When your kid goes to the bathroom, do you even want to know? How about when the monsters come out of the closet as soon as you turn the lights out? Hawk + Sloane is an innovative company that has curated sprays for your littles to solve everyday problems.
Co-founders Candice Crawford Romo and Hollie Siglin state, "These days, parents are constantly on the go and many of them are tackling numerous responsibilities in a day. Each of our sprays were created for their own unique purpose, but all with the common goal of making parenthood a bit easier.
For example, Soothie Spray is an irritated-skin spray made with micronized silver. It works wonders and you get to avoid getting thick cream all over your hands. Many of our sprays are formulated with essential oils and they are all in travel-sized bottles, so you can easily throw them in your purse or carry-on. As parents ourselves, we are all for anything that helps make parenting easier!"
Candice Crawford Romo and Hollie Siglin
Once you become a parent, constantly preparing healthy meals for yourself and your family can be a challenge, with all the responsibilities you juggle in between. Daily Harvest solves these problems; it’s a subscription-based service that delivers clean superfoods that are ready in seconds. You'll never need to wonder what you’re making for a meal again, removing the unnecessary stress from our already exhausted mom-brains.
"As a New Yorker and a working mom, my mornings are filled with pure chaos and I know the last thing any parent wants to think about is chopping, prepping and dicing fruits and veggies! Daily Harvest was constructed on the premise that convenience doesn't have to mean compromise. We want healthy eating to be a no-brainer. That's why we introduced a health hack for parents, offering perfectly portioned, ready-to-heat soups and ready-to-blend smoothies, all filled with balanced, organic vegetables and fruits. Our mission is to provide parents with 'superfoods, super fast.' This is revolutionary for parents who want to put both their and their children's health first," describes founder Rachel Drori.
If you are a woman, a person of color or LGBTIA+ identified and are a part of a start-up company, this is the competition for you. The SoGal Global Pitch Competition is being hosted in over 25 cities and will culminate in a final contest in Silicon Valley as well as a "3-day immersive educational bootcamp." This could be an unprecedented opportunity for you, your business and for the future of entrepreneurial diversification.
We all know how important diversity is for the world and for any business entity. But the statistics need to catch up with these ideals, because diversity isn't just a moral imperative it can also have an impact on the success and efficiency of a business. So if the ethics isn't enough to get you interested, maybe these statistics will.
- Companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity are 35% more likely to have above-average financial returns
- Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have above-average financial returns
- Bottom quartile companies (in both gender and racial diversity) are less likely to achieve even average returns
- In senior executive teams in the US for every 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) rose 0.8%
Despite the fact that diversity is good for business, funding as a woman or a minority is incredibly challenging, but this competition could be someone's game-changing opportunity.
SoGal is a global education and empowerment platform focused on diverse investors and entrepreneurs. Their mission is "to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship and venture capital." A tall order, given that 2.2% of VC funding went to women in 2018. Compounding the gender gap with race shows an even poorer picture: in the past decade only 0.1% (yes, that is a decimal) of funding was allocated to black women.
It is a straight up fact that companies with higher levels of diversity perform better, so why is it so hard for diverse start-ups to get funded? Oh right, racism, sexism, homophobia, implicit biases, inequality, classism... the list goes on, but thankfully that's where SoGal comes in! According to Kelley Elizabeth Henry, director of SoGal, "We're done waiting for these statistics to change; we're taking action to point investment capital toward these diverse-led startups. [...] We will change the future of entrepreneurship."
To enter this competition all you have to do is be a part of a pre-Series A startup (raised less than $3M) and have at least one "woman or diverse" founder. After you apply to pitch, you'll have to be able to make it to one of the "regional round location," which range from the more typical options of New York and Los Angeles to global locations such as Nairobi or Bangalore. And, if you're really playing to win, you better earmark February 28 to March 1 of next year, because that's when the top teams will be in San Francisco duking it out to the very end. And by "duking it out," I mean participating in "curated educational programming," talking to press and getting "facetime in front of top-tier investors." Though not everyone can win, the experience in itself looks to be well-worth the time it takes to fill out an application form and huff it to the nearest large city for the first round.