The TableCrowd community is full of entrepreneurs and business professionals at different stages of their journey. So we thought we’d do a #BusinessSpotlight on a soon-to-be-launched business to highlight and celebrate an early milestone along the long road ahead.
With that in mind, we’d like to take a moment to put the spotlight on one of our members who’s in amongst the thick of it, getting ready to launch her business. Emily Tucker, founder of Mamalink, is a regular diner of TableCrowd joining us at our women’s only dinners as well as fundraising ones. Her most recent dinner was with Accel Partner’s Luciana Lixandru. Here’s what Emily had to say about her new business:
What’s the elevator pitch for your business?
Mamalink is the place to share and discover parenting advice and recommendations from your friends – the people you know and trust the most.
New parents are thrown into a whole new world and they often need advice navigating it. However all they find online are public forums and online reviews, written by people they don’t know. Recommendations from friends are so much more powerful than anything anonymous. I am creating an easy-to-use platform for asking and sharing advice with friends so that we can unlock that potential for powerful, meaningful recommendations.
What were you doing before you launched your company?
I worked at Orange Group, in mobile strategy. That involved a range of things from working on the 5-year financial and strategic plan, to evaluating opportunities and risks from things like communications apps, and developing strategies to react.
Everything changed when I had my 2 children, now aged 5 and 2. It was my experience of having children that got me thinking about a new social network for parents, and a way to capture all the incredible advice my new mum-friends and I would share whenever we had the chance to meet up. The idea had been slowly evolving for a few years, and then finally in June last year I felt I had reached something that was worth leaving my job for and focussing on full time.
If you have co-founders, where did you meet them?
I don’t have a co-founder yet but I plan to sometime after launch, as I’m well aware that someone with a different skill set to mine could help Mamalink really take off.
What will 2015 bring?
Very exciting things hopefully. We’re building the site right now and it should be ready to launch very soon. I want to test the site with a group of mums to get their feedback on what works and what doesn’t so we can tweak the site to fit their needs. From then on it will be full steam ahead growing the site, finding a co-founder to work with, getting partners involved, and ultimately looking for funding to help launch apps and get some employees helping in the day to day running.
One piece of advice for someone starting a business in your sector?
Make sure you have a good answer to “isn’t that just Mumsnet/Facebook/[insert name of social network]?” as that’s always the first question, and a good one too as you must be doing something different.
Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
If you’ve ever searched forums for advice and come away more confused than when you started, discovered something amazing that you think all your friends need to know about, or had a friend share advice that was so incredibly helpful and you wish you’d known earlier, then you need Mamalink.
What’s your favourite startup in your sector (not including your own)?
Parents are my market but I’d call my ‘sector’ niche social networks. So I’m really impressed by Sportlobster, although I don’t know if they still count as a startup now with hundreds of thousands of users and top footballers helping promote it. Like me they recognised that what was out there for their market – sports fans – wasn’t good enough, and they created something new to meet those particular needs and frustrations. They’ve done a pretty amazing job in just 2 years so that’s definitely something to aspire to.
What’s your favourite London restaurant?
So many favourites… but right now I love Hedone in Chiswick. It has incredible, beautiful Michelin star food but in a fairly intimate and relaxed atmosphere. Plus the added bonus of not being too far from where I live.
What’s your favourite meal?
Probably my mum’s lasagne. You can’t beat a good bit of comfort food, and everyone knows mums do it best.
Find more of our #BusinessSpotlights here. If you’d like your business featured on our blog, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the title: I want to be a #BusinessSpotlight!