Happy Mother’s Day. Whether we’re celebrating wins in the home, outside of the home, or in business. Moms everywhere make impactful strides to the betterment of the community through technology, so we’re highlighting some of our favorite tech-inspired startups created by inspirational mom-preneurs.
When Manisha Shah and Sonia Chang reconnected in 2018, they grew closer by sharing each other’s parenting “ah ha” moments—all centered around the importance of incorporating play into their children’s lives. Shah discovered the importance of interactive play while caring for her premature newborn, and Chang realized play’s impact on her children’s development. Together, the mothers cofounded Playfully, an app that assists in cognitive development through evidence-based, research-backed, age-specific activities.
By downloading the app, parents can open new doors to tips and tricks for easy, convenient ways to promote children’s healthy progress. Makeusof noted Playfully as one of the top five apps to track your baby’s development.
Founder and CEO Ariane Goldman found herself puzzled when she couldn’t find the style of clothing she was looking for during her pregnancy, putting somewhat of a damper on a moment she believes should be magical. HATCH came out of this what-to-wear challenge in 2011, and offers chic, elevated maternity and wardrobe solutions for soon-to-be moms. HATCH also offers safe beauty products so moms can feel good about the products they’re using. Even better, HATCH is more than clothes—the brand offers a community through digital engagements and content. Moms everywhere can check out the company on Facebook, Instagram, and Zoom for an ongoing series of virtual events.
Co-founding moms Mary Fallon and Dori Graff came together along with CEO Dug Nichols to simplify buying and selling kids’ clothes everywhere. In 2011, the co-founders launched Kidizen, an online resale marketplace for fashionable children’s clothing. Their unique approach to business—community over closets—shapes their online platform into more than a store. Customers can browse, connect with other parents, share styles, and more.
Extra Crunch reported that in 2016, Kidizen saw 100 percent year-over-year growth and reached more than a quarter million registered U.S. users. The success led to the company’s 2017 achievement, when Kidizen partnered with Chicago-based Origin Ventures to raise $3.2M in Series A funding.
What’s better than sharing your photos on Instagram? Sharing your baby’s photos on Tinybeans! In 2012, Founders Stephen O’Young and Sarah-Jane Kurtini enhanced O’Young’s first version of a website and app to track his children’s milestones into Tinybeans. The platform makes it easier for parents to connect with their family and share their children’s journeys through photos, videos, and messages.
The app took off quickly, and by 2013, Tinybeans saw its first one million memories uploaded by users. By 2019, Tinybeans hit three million users, was featured in NY Times, BBC, and Forbes, and was named “App of the Day” in the U.S. App Store.
Hanna Chiou and Anne-Louise Nieto found new challenges to tackle after becoming moms, and decided to do so together. Driven by their children and to simply do something that matters, both women left their corporate jobs to start their own company. Founded in 2019, Habbi Habbi is centered around accessible, intentional, educational products and makes it easier for parents to raise bilingual children. Kids can learn Chinese or Spanish through a combination of books. More interestingly, the founders wanted to create a tech product without learning from a screen—insert the Reading Wand. Along with the books, the Reading Wand dictates words, phrases, or sound effects. Kids everywhere now have access to learning another language through play-based learning.
As we look forward to this special holiday, we love to think about the meaningful work mothers contribute to our society. We appreciate the creativity moms bring by thinking outside of the box, and the many startups, gadgets, apps, and sites that come from their thinking. To all the mom-preneurs, thank you for your valuable impact!