“Keep climbing. It’s hard when you’re looking at the top and it seems so far away, but when you keep putting one foot in front of the other eventually you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come already.”
Childcare marketplace website Mom Trusted raised over one million dollars in venture funding from Blumberg Capital, 500 Startups, Birchmere Labs and angel investors recently.
Women 2.0 talked to co-founder Angela Conley about how she got started, what she does at the startup and her advice for entrepreneurs.
Women 2.0: Congrats on the big news! Now how did you start Mom Trusted and what was the idea behind it?
Angela Conley: We experienced the problem of finding childcare first-hand when we were looking for care for our daughter. We weren’t exactly sure what type of care we needed and when we asked our friends and family we found that this was a problem most parents faced. We were directed to the phonebook, Craigslist and to “drive around” to see what’s nearby. It was incredibly frustrating to know that we could find out more about the next movie we would rent than the place we would be entrusting our child.
So Mom Trusted was born – or some version of the idea anyway – and we started working to make it easier for parents to find what’s around them, give them information about care and early education providers, and connect them with other parents who have experience with the providers.
We’ve been successfully launching ever since – with our alpha, closed beta, open beta, version one, and now version two of our product. We’ve been learning and building to get us where we are today.
Women 2.0: And what is Mom Trusted? We have had Care.com founder and CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo at Women 2.0 before. How does Mom Trusted differentiate?
Angela Conley: We offer a comprehensive look at child care and early education services because when we started this process we realized that parents explore or use most of these types (child care center, preschool, in-home, nanny, or babysitter) throughout the early years. It’s more fluid than you’d think and we were actually amazed even after we started Mom Trusted how many times we had to solve the child care problem.
There are a few other ways we differentiate from what’s in market today. One is that we allow parents to search, find, contact, and hire care and early education providers for free. We’re also different in that our approach is really around building community to solve this problem. We help connect parents to people like them as well as run algorithms to match them to providers who might be a better fit. We have some really cool social tools coming out soon to make our connections even stronger!
Women 2.0: And did you always want to be an entrepreneur? What was your background?
Angela Conley: I’ve always had interests in links between business and social good so it was natural for me to want to start tackling this problem. As it turns out, I’m much more technical than my co-founder. So in the beginning, I did the managing of the development and data teams and bridged the gap between the consumer needs and how we were going to build the technology to support those needs.
I still do a lot of that today but now that our team has expanded my approach to product is much more holistic, including not only consumer needs and technology but design, UI/UX, marketing, and sales needs into consideration.
My co-founder and I complement each other well because he’s very good at talking to people about what we do to build interest and momentum, while I’m working on getting all the parts to come together. As for the fundraising, my co-founder is a rockstar and made that happen.
Women 2.0: What advice do you have for entrepreneurs today?
Angela Conley: Keep climbing. It’s hard when you’re looking at the top and it seems so far away, but when you keep putting one foot in front of the other eventually you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come already.
Editor’s note: Congratulations to Angela Conley and her team at Mom Trusted on the big news!
Angie Chang co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. She currently serves as Editor-In-Chief of Women 2.0 and is working to mainstream women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. In 2008, Angie launched Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, asking that guys come as the “+1″ for once. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.