Charlotte Michailidis of Parenthood Ventures on fueling the next wave of innovation for early stage ParentTech

Parenthood Ventures_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Parenthood Ventures is the founder ecosystem for early stage ParentTech – i.e., startups serving parents, from fertility to teens. 

Companies in our community span sub-sectors like caregiving, employee benefits, food, physical goods, digital health, retail, clothing, education, media/entertainment and fintech. 

The objective is to fuel the next wave of innovation, for a new paradigm of parents and their little ones – via networking opportunities and content tailored to the needs of ParentTech founders, a directory of investors interested in the space, and engagement of parents themselves.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Frustration with the tech-enabled products and services serving parents (and aspiring parents), and their children .

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I was an early employee at a YC-backed startup, and have a Harvard MBA. My career before that was in business strategy consulting, with a focus on tech and media.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

My strategy since the outset has been to focus on listening, rather than marketing: Meeting founders, incubator operators, VCs, leaders at established companies in the sector, and most importantly, a diverse group of parents. These conversations have been critical in understanding how to unlock the potential of this sector, and have also enabled us to grow organically through word-of-mouth via our champions in each of these groups..

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Building Parenthood while expecting, delivering and now raising my coronababy! Most of our teams (83%) have at least one parent founder, and at least one female founder (80%). It helps that I’ve stood in their shoes on this journey too!

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

I always ask what the interviewee’s long term career goals and aspirations are. It makes for a more fulfilling experience not only to leverage the things the applicant is great at today, but also to support them in developing new skills, or coaching them through things they might have previously struggled with. Asking the question up front not only helps you understand who they are, it builds trust that you will be invested in helping them become who they want to be.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

The acute challenges of juggling children and work during COVID have pushed many young families to the limit. And it has been a very difficult time for under-represented founders to raise venture capital, which tends to stick to seemingly “safer” bets in times of uncertainty.

Two silver linings are that parent consumers and businesses serving parents have seen a rapid shift to online offerings, even in sectors historically slow to embrace change (e.g., pediatric telehealth). It has also become exponentially easier for founders to schedule meetings and raise funding from home – which is hugely beneficial for our founder group, who often live outside silicon valley / NYC.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

We are constantly exploring new ways we can build a better version of parenthood – for all types of family, and engage parents in the process.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

That you can develop really warm and meaningful relationships via zoom!

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Not to overthink things up front. It’s good to build out some initial hypotheses, but beyond that it’s all about experimenting, asking for advice, feeling your way through.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Quarantining with a toddler, while having a new baby helped keep it real!

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

The answer to this depends on your work style, and role. I have lots of meetings and need a quiet place to focus on other tasks – so I schedule out my calendar around naps and feedings. I can’t juggle work and children in the same moment, but working from home means there’s no wasted time commuting between them. I love the RBG quote that each brings respite from the other.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m British! The founding story of Parenthood stems from my experiences & frustrations as a dual career family in San Francisco, but I’m originally from the UK.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Drink a lot of tea (haha, yeah, I’m really that British). 
  • I default to 15 minute chats. Meetings have a way of always taking as long as you booked, and it’s kinder on the other person’s schedule. You can always find more time another day, and checking in little and often can be a good way to build rapport.
  • Close the door. Crank through work in a quiet place (or at night), not in the middle of the kitchen.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

It means forging your own path. Forging an entrepreneurial journey with a twist.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





8 Inspiring Latinx Entreprenistas that have launched groundbreaking companies

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve put together a list of 8 incredible Latinx women founders that have launched groundbreaking companies. Check it out: Jessica Alba: The Honest Company Founded in 2011, The Honest Company makes sustainable, well-designed products that work – built on transparency, trust, and a deep sense of purpose. In…

Susan Sarit of Operations-Made Easy on achieving your goals by getting organized

Describe your business in a few words: I am a mom, daughter, sister, business owner, and more! I started my business for both financial freedom and to be a work-at-home mom. I created Operations-Made Easy to help diverse women with the Operations of their business. Deliberative, disciplined, and detail-oriented are just a few words we…

Lisa Nutt of Make Every Minute Count on personal and professional growth

Describe your business in a few words? The Make Every Minute Count ecosystem encourages us to go (do that thing), grow (personally and professionally) and give (through a membership based family to family giving circle). What made you take the leap to start your own business? I’m a serial entrepreneur. This is the third time…

Connection Coach Kristjana Hillberg on trusting your intuition and having an open mind

Describe your business in a few words: I’m a Connection Coach who helps women unearth their deepest desires, move from auto pilot to intentional action and prioritize their wellbeing. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’m a multipotentialite – meaning, I have tried multiple things and tested multiple careers ranging from…

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon: Finally Back to Delicious Meals For Everyone

Cuisine varies by culture, but no matter how societies segment and define themselves, certain foods show up in households across the globe — only differing in their forms. Some of a culture’s time-honored meals are created by its culinary icons.  Among America’s culinary icons, Martha Stewart is, without question, its most trusted. In 2014, Martha…

7 Entreprenista League Members share the biggest business challenge they overcame and what it taught them

Brand Photographer Brittney Guy-Atakpo of Brittney Jean Photography The biggest business challenge I have faced is sticking to a schedule that made me feel productive and good about my work ethic. What I have learned is that there is no right or wrong schedule or routine that produces success. I have been more grateful for…

Courtney Spritzer of WorkRobe on her “secret sauce” for a successful product launch

Describe WorkRobe in a few words? WorkRobes are designed to have you looking your best during any video meeting, so you can go from bedroom to boardroom in seconds and in comfort. My mission is to reimagine what you wear to work (from home).  Can you pinpoint the moment you knew you wanted to create…

Brand Photographer Brittney Jean Guy-Atakpo on helping women show up confidently on camera

Describe your business in a few words? I’m Brittney with Brittney Jean Photography & Company. I help women show up confidently in photos and on social media to grow their brand and business. I’m a Brand Photographer and Strategist. I have over 5 years working for Fortune 100 companies in sales and marketing and over…

Lorena Tapiero of Conscious Consulting on the power of networking

Describe your business in a few words? Conscious Consulting is a Latina-owned, bilingual marketing and public relations agency with 20 years of experience in the hospitality, sports and wellness sectors. Our thoughtful, comprehensive approach helps brands establish clear communication priorities and a long-range vision for meaningful press coverage, value-added partnerships and sustainable influencer relationships. As…

Lindsay Applebaum Stuart of Mamalux on the beginning stage of business

Describe your business in a few words? Mamalux is a first-of-its-kind leakproof sleep solution for breastfeeding moms. Our Kickstarter launches on 10/19! What was your background prior to starting your own business? I spent the first 10 years of my career as a sports journalist for the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated! So this has…

Jessica Bargenquast of Lady ChangeMakers on organic marketing strategies that work

Describe your business in a few words? Lady ChangeMakers is an exclusive e-commerce platform for women-owned businesses to gain valuable exposure and sales. Most of my life I’ve been encouraged to be seen and not heard. Growing up extremely introverted and shy I felt invisible. I wanted to create a platform so women-owned businesses could…

Jennifer Gligoric of EntrePods on the importance of mindset

Describe EntrePods in a few words? Cutting-edge entrepreneur and investor network answering the question “So Now What?” for business owners powered by fractional consultants and coaches with decades worth of experience. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had no choice.  My mother owned a staffing company for 54 years…

Certified Financial Planner Maggie Gomez on investing and building wealth

Describe your business in a few words? An accessible place where anyone can learn to invest and build wealth, regardless of their net worth. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I realized that it was only those who were already wealthy that had access to quality financial guidance. I got…

Claire Jones of Cushy Couture on shifting paradigms in the fashion industry

Describe your business in a few words? Cushy Couture is a customer-driven clothing brand that creates high quality sweatpants in a wide range of colors and patterns that come in three different inseam lengths because we believe that you don’t have to settle for less. We create functional sweatpants that will last you for multiple…

Writer, Speaker, Podcaster, and Life Coach Chelsea Austin on taking care of yourself first

Describe your business in a few words? I advocate for others to find their own self-worth and acceptance through self-care, love, respect, and storytelling. What made you take the leap to start your own business? When I started writing my book and my blog, I don’t think I ever realized it would become a business.…