The day was completely devoted to the emerging $2.1 trillion market, which is largely driven by parents needing technology to solve many of the typical parenting challenges. By Rachel Lehmann-Haupt (Editor, Women 2.0)
Think about all the technologies that help you be a better parent. Need a sitter in a pinch? Just post a job on Urbansitter.com. Freaking out about what to do with the kids this summer? How about ActivityHero, a site that helps families find activities and camps for the kids. These are just a few examples of the companies that are popping up in what entrepreneurs and investors are calling “family tech.”
Last week, according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News, Dave McClure, the investor behind the startup accelerator 500 Startups hosted an all-day event called the Mamabear Tech Conference. The day was completely devoted to the emerging $2.1 trillion market, which is largely driven by parents needing technology to solve many of the typical parenting challenges.
“Moms today are economic powerhouses—and like mama bears, are loving, nurturing, and fiercely protective” says the conference website. This instinct is what's driving many thought leaders to use technology to build a better world for their children, in everything from education to safety to health and wellness to community. The conference covered topics such as the future of tech for moms, kids and families, ways to distribute to parents and schools, and game-based learning.
Data from the conference revealed:
*Moms are more likely to have a smartphone than teenagers, and 93 percent of Moms don't leave home without it.
*One-third of moms own a tablet.
*Women are online an average of almost three hours a day.
*When a woman finds out she is pregnant, her Internet usage skyrockets.
*More than 70 percent of moms have a Facebook page, and check it on average about five times a day.
Funding, however, is still a challenge because most of the products, while incredible useful are not that sexy. "Technology has been built by young guys who want to do the next cool thing," Chandini Ammineni, co-founder and CEO of ActivityHero, told reporter Heather Summerville.
"It can be intimidating," added Andrea Barrett, the founder of Urbansitter.com. The upside she said is that "your ability to blow it out of the water is that much more."
Women 2.0 readers: We want to hear your ideas about how technology can solve parenting or work-life balance issues?
Rachel Lehmann-Haupt (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an editor at Women 2.0. She also works with companies on the art of storytelling. This includes content strategy - blogs, web articles, contextual commerce, e-books and e-magazines - with the goal of better influencing and engaging audiences. She was a founding editor of TED Books and has published and edited numerous articles and books. Her interests include gender politics, working motherhood, urban innovation, health, and fashion. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Daily Beast, New York, Vogue, Self, Outside, and Wired. Follow her on Twitter at @rlehmannhaupt. Photo credit: Miriam Berkley