Hi friends, it’s Spiffy, back again on Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making the world a more equitable place! I’m thrilled to be talking to Charlotte Michailidis, founder and CEO, working to make the world a better place through Parenthood Ventures. Are you ready to be enlightened?
Spiffy: Welcome to the blog, Charlotte. Let’s dive right in! What challenge are you addressing through Parenthood Ventures?
Charlotte: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! At Parenthood Ventures, we are building a community of startups that serve parents and their children. As crazy as it sounds, nobody had ever done this before! The companies we support do everything from creating new types of toys, to designing brand new tools for helping kids learn, to helping parents learn how to become great parents for their kids, or guide them when their kids are struggling.
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Charlotte: As a mom to two little ones myself, I know how hard it can be for parents and kids to find what they need. Parents need to learn so much, so quickly, and the modern world—with our smartphones, apps, and modern medicine—has so much potential, if only entrepreneurs can design solutions that fit with the way that we now live, learn, and think.
Spiffy: How would you say you and the organization are working towards a more equitable world?
Charlotte: Along with being inspired to improve the tech world for parents and kids, I realized that part of the problem is that it's so hard for innovators to actually build things! Especially when startup founders have little children, and are building in between meal times and nap times. Most of our teams include at least one parent, and most of them include at least one mom. By bringing founders together, they can help one another out, and can also make friendships with other innovators along the way.
Spiffy: Is there a recent milestone or initiative you want to share, and the impact that it makes on this lovely, supportive community that you’re building?
Charlotte: We have a platform—the Sandbox—where families can volunteer to test the innovations of our founders, and can share suggestions and feedback. This is so helpful to teams in refining their products!
Spiffy: Tell me about a startup or project you’ve worked with that exemplifies the impact you’re striving to make.
Charlotte: One of our startups, PokPok Playroom, has created a great app for little kids. Instead of ABCs and numbers, it's all about being creative and exploring. We were excited to feature them in our investor network and help them raise the funding they needed to grow their business and keep up their great work—we were thrilled to see them receive an Apple Design award!
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Charlotte—it’s been an honor!
Charlotte Michailidis is a graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Business School. She started her career in Strategy Consulting, where she focussed on Tech and Media, followed by being an early team member at a YC-backed Fintech startup. (Nominated by Jing Herman at 28Muses. First published on the Ladderworks website on August 15, 2022.)© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.