(Photos courtesy of Simply by Suzy Photography)
They say necessity is the mother of invention.
And moms — perhaps more than any other demographic — know necessity. From refashioning a diaper bag so that it's more functional or comfortable to multi-purposing an old playpen, they’re master crafters, inventors, and visionaries.
MUMZY, a new Chicago crowdfunding platform, wants to marshal that maternal entrepreneurial spirit, building an online space for moms to share their ideas, provide support, and ultimately get their projects funded.
“I think moms are a very unique population,” said Catherine Merritt, co-founder and CEO of MUMZY. "They’re inherent problem solvers. Moms are incredibly innovative—but there is a lack of resources available to them that really cater to their unique needs and pains.”
Where other popular crowdsourcing platforms like Kickstarter often take a very hands-off approach, MUMZY is committed to providing tools and resources to its users so that posters know how to optimize their project as they move forward after funding. In order to do so, they’re partnering with brands to ensure that a mom’s idea has the manufacturing capability to come to fruition.
The first of those brand partnerships is with Revolution, a company that works to bring healthy food into schools and homes.
“Revolution will play a huge role to help identify and bring the best ideas to life, putting their own infrastructure, mentors, and resources behind a project to help bring a mom’s idea get realized,” Merritt said (pictured right with her two sons). “This particular partnership is about supporting the next mom food entrepreneur.”
The online community already has about 2,000 members. Merritt said 22 projects have been created — nine of which have achieved funding — and she is excited to see that momentum continue to grow.
That growth will likely be accelerated come September, when Merritt will join other women in tech as part of 1871’s cohort WiSTEM, where she hopes to not only scale the platform but also explore avenues of raising capital.
Launched in May of this year, MUMZY is the first and only crowdfunding platform for mothers. Merritt said that MUMZY is so intuitive that even the most technophobic of users can join the community.
“It’s so easy to post a project, and easy to fund a project,” she said. “My mom—who still refers to her computer as ‘the machine’—was able to figure out how to fund a project completely on her own accord, without any help without any help from me or anyone else. She was a great litmus test.”
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