Founders to Watch: 10 Amazing Startups That Make Moms’ Lives A Smidge Easier

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We’re dedicating this very special Mother's Day edition of Founders to Watch to startups that are making moms’ lives easier with their amazing products and ideas.

By Ayesha Rizvi (Editorial Intern) With families planning brunches and wrapping presents for their special moms for Mother’s Day, we decided to seek out a few startups that are catering to moms, bringing them into an online community and making their jobs easier.

Meet Other Mom Entrepreneurs at Founding Moms Meetups

 

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“I had 3 businesses, 2 kids and 1 desire to have a cup of coffee with fellow entrepreneurs who also happened to be mothers.” — Founder Jill Salzman

Jill was running her business from her home and raising her family. She started Foundingmoms.com to get to know other local mom entrepreneurs who were doing the same. The meetups were kid-friendly and brought women together to share advice and tip on how to improve their businesses with less mom guilt.

The idea caught on so quickly that now there are founding mom chapters across the country and even around the world. According to the Founding Moms website, their network is now 5,616 mom entrepreneurs and counting. In 2013, Forbes named Founding Moms one of the Top 10 Websites for Women Entrepreneurs (alongside yours’ truly, Women 2.0).

This being her third entrepreneurial venture, Salzman is a graduate of Brown University and law school after that. Her TED talk, Why Moms Make The Best Entrepreneurs, earned her a lot of praise and she was named one of the Top 50 Women To Watch In Tech on Femme-o-nomics in 2011.

Watch Jill speak at TEDxNaperville on why moms make the best entrepreneurs:

Find Your Kids’ Next Favorite Books and Apps with Zoobean

 

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 “We realize that every kid is different and one app or book doesn’t always work for all.” — Founders Jordan Lloyd Bookey and Felix Brandon Lloyd

Jordan Lloyd Bookey and Felix Brandon Lloyd were struggling to find apps and books that met their son's interests. When they did find a book their son truly loved, they wanted to find more like it. There wasn’t anything out there, so they created it themselves.

Zoobean is like a Pandora for children’s apps and books, and gets smarter with its curation the more you use it. Users begin by selecting their child's reading level, mobile platform and interests ranging from "Adventure" to "Not-So-Pink Girls" to "Zany." Zoobean’s literacy experts combined with help from data science match recommendations for the child.

As  a former teacher of the year and Google's head of K-12 education outreach program, co-founder Jordan Lloyd Bookey  brings her expertise to making Zoobean meet the educational and enrichment needs of it's customers' kids. The startup also recently appeared on Shark Tank and closed a deal with Mark Cuban.

Manage Child Support More Easily with SupportPay

 

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“What I didn’t realize at the time was the easiest part of this entire process was the divorce. Everyone thinks it’s the divorce that is the issue, but honestly a divorce is one and done — children are forever!" — Founder Sheri Atwood

When Sheri Atwood and her husband separated, they vowed their divorce would be amicable for the sake of their daughter. But managing and enforcing the child support agreement became difficult and time consuming.

With 39 million divorced couples in North America, Atwood knew there was a market for a system to manage child support payments. She launched SupportPay, which gives parents an easy way to manage payments both on their phone and online.

Atwood was also a winner of our San Francisco Women 2.0 PITCH competition in February and recently raised $1.1 million in funding for SupportPay.

Find a Babysitter or Nanny with Care, Sittercity and Urbansitter

Is your go-to sitter already booked? Need to find a babysitter or nanny and have already exhausted your network of friends and family? Or perhaps you’ve just moved to a new city and haven’t yet gotten to know your neighbors and community, so have no one to ask.

Head to Sittercity, Care or Urbansitter to review profiles of child care providers in your area.

Compare Local Child Care Facilities Using CareLuLu

 

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“I thought there would be a service that would help me, and there was nothing. Every person I spoke to had the same frustration at some point. I thought there had to be a better way to do this.” — CareLuLu Co-founder Jen Usmanova for Überstories

The “best” child care facility or preschool for your kids be different than the “best” for your friends’ and family’s kids. Everyone has different priorities about what matters to them.

CareLuLu makes it easy to find the facilities in your area, then narrow down your options based on your own preferences such as distance, amenities, tuition and even willingness to work with allergies.

The site was founded by parents Patrick Matos and Jen Usmanova. When the couple was looking for the daycare for their own children, they visited 16 centers to find one they liked. To streamline the research process, they started CareLuLu, which was also one of our Women 2.0 PITCH finalists in 2013.

Spend Less on LEGOs and Rent Them Through Pley Instead

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“After spending thousands of dollars on new sets, I realized that there is a more efficient and family-friendly way to build LEGO creations without breaking our bank account.” — Pley Co-founder Elina Furman

Everyone’s favorite toy is not cheap. Yet even though LEGOs are expensive, you want your kids to play with these little plastic blocks that inspire creativity and free play in a way iPads don’t.

With over 20 published books, including Boomerang Kids and Generation Inc: The 100 Best Businesses for Young Entrepreneurs, founder Elina Furman is a lifestyle and kid expert. To bring more LEGOs to more kids at less cost to their parents, she decided to try a subscription-based model to rent out sets. You could call it a Netflix for LEGOs. Her team sanitizes each piece that comes back in, then weighs each set to detect missing pieces. Subscriptions start for $15 a month.

 The LEGOs rental company is catching on, and fast; Pley recently raised $6.75 million in Series A funding.

Get Advice From Parents Like You on Kinsights

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 Whether you’re a first-time parent or are a few little ones in, it’s likely you have just a few tons and tons of questions along every step of the way. How do I get my 4-month-old to take a bottle? Is my toddler ready to start potty training? How do I manage my son’s peanut allergy?

While you can always ask friends and family, your friend might not have had trouble with her 4-month-old taking her bottle. Your sister’s son might not have a peanut allergy. If only you could ask someone who has experience the exact same parenting challenges as you have…

Enter Kinsights. With a tagline of “parents like you,” Kinsights is an advice-sharing network for parents to connect with others who have been in their shoes before. Got a question yourself? Check out the top questions, or join and ask one yourself.

Find Mom-Approved Camps and Classes for Your Kids at Munchkin Fun

Munchkinfunlogo Munchkin Fun is a couture Ticketmaster for kids classes and camps, giving parents a single place to find, book and buy parent-approved programs and provides the marketing and software tools to build better programs.

A journalist by trade and a serial entrepreneur who loves technology for its ability to streamline logistics, founder Valerie Schimel started Miami Munchkins (the precursor to Munchkin Fun) while trying to find information on what classes to take for her daughter. Upon realizing there was no one place to find that information, Miami Munchkin was born.

Who did we miss? What other startups are making moms’ lives easier?


About the author: Ayesha Rizvi is a multimedia & editorial assistant at Women 2.0. She is interested in women, technology & how both, when combined, can contribute to economic growth and stability in the developing world. You can find her on twitter at @arizvii