Last year, many employers expanded their family health benefits, increasing programs designed for caregivers. However, nothing was on the table; companies have set up resource groups for working parents (ERGs), expanded parental leave and added fertility benefits, among other tactics. According to the human resources manager, 64% have improved childcare support, 55% have granted paid leave to care for a child or other family member and 48% have offered a additional childcare support.
It’s no secret that the many challenges faced by employees during the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted employers to increase their financial investment in health and wellness. Such an expedited effort is next to impossible without outsourcing parts of the work to contractors and startups familiar with the industry. (Example: my consulting firm has seen a 300% increase in requests to create guidelines and charters for new ERG Parents Travailleurs.) But where does a company interested in improving its services find innovative solutions in family health?
Answer: Parenthood Ventures. With nearly 300 companies, it’s an ecosystem for early-stage startups focused on family health. Categories range from caregiving to education and fintech. With the global corporate wellness market growing 200% in four years, chances are the “Google, Twitter, or Facebook” of 2030 is affiliated with Parenthood Ventures. Founder Charlotte Michailidis explains:
“Our goal is to fuel the next wave of innovation, for a new paradigm of parents and their little ones – through content and community tailored to the needs of Parenthood’s founders, as well as a vast network of interested investor allies. by space.”
In 2020, San Francisco new mom Michailidis thought the epicenter of technology and innovation should have responded better to outdated solutions offered by employers. But the legacy infrastructure of the tech world (12-week acceleration sprints, network-based VC intros, in-person meetings) evolved around the needs and lifestyle of the bro culture. Coincidentally, young families have used this technology to share their predictable but preventable needs via social media and blogs.
“I continued to reflect on how and why innovation was not thriving, especially in the face of massive macro trends towards reproductive health, early interventions in child development, the growing value placed on well- being, sleep, nutrition, gender equality in the workplace, racial equity, inclusion of dads and all types of family structures, support for active families and the growing attention to the child care crisis…I could go on.
FamTech (and its subcategory, ParentTech) had yet to be established as a category, and startups trying to meet the needs of working families were scattered across digital health, care, fintech and others. vertical sectors. This fragmented state made it virtually impossible to reunite and cross-pollinate learnings. Furthermore, the few private and commercial investors aware of the market opportunity had no overall view of the data and the transactions concluded.
Frustrated, Michailidis launched Parenthood Ventures to provide visibility into ParentTech solutions, educate investors, and expand access for parents to try and share feedback on new concepts. Familiar startups on the platform include Nest Collaborative, a collection of International Board-certified lactation consultants who host online video appointments to help guide parents through the breastfeeding process, and Motherly, an uplifting online community that produces one of the most comprehensive surveys of millennial mothers. : the annual survey on the state of maternity.
The next chapter of Parenthood Ventures includes expansion by providing startups with access to parents who also have diverse professional backgrounds, from engineering and product management to growth marketing. The intention is for parents to provide a personal and professional perspective on their areas of expertise. Michailidis also plans to welcome more angel investors to Parenthood Ventures, creating forums where they can meet to discuss deals, learn more about investing, and meet the founders.