Before we fill you in on what we've been up to, let's take a deep breath. What a week it has been with the Presidential Election and the days that have followed...
Like many of you, we have spent time reflecting and understanding the course of events...and personal views aside, our sharpened awareness of our divided nation has only catapulted our interest and passion in reinforcing Sittereco's vision: building a circle of support and empowerment, investing in future generations, and creating a community that surpasses boundaries across gender, generations, and socioeconomic status.
On a basic level, Sittereco is an opportunity to build a word-of-mouth network of recommended parents and sitters. It enables parents and sitters to find one another by vetting through their own personal networks, with trust at the center of it all.
While you know our story and how we started, we last left off with the excitement around kicking off closed beta testing. Well...we have good news! Closed beta testing was incredibly validating. Over 6 weeks, we estimate a 50% installation rate across approximately 150 invited beta testers. We are nearing 900 engagements with the app. And most importantly, we are getting feedback from parents and sitters on the value and need for Sittereco in their lives.
But that only begins to speak to the initial product validation and market appetite.
Beyond that, we have begun to engage with our community of parents, sitters, and women in a few key ways. We held our first Sittereco event last Sunday, November 6th, at University of Minnesota, through a cross-generational women empowerment panel at sorority house, Gamma Phi Beta. The event was nothing short of inspirational.
150 undergraduate sorority women and 4 working parent panelists dialogued around defending ourselves from stereotypes, fighting the voices in our head and those that can overtake us which hold us back, recognizing the need to fail in order to succeed, surrounding ourselves with mentors, etc. It was honest, vulnerable, authentic, and most of all, productive for two generations that just don't dialogue enough. In fact, the event resulted in 20% of these young women signing up for the beta as a means to be part of this Sitterecommunity for mentorship, babysitting opportunity, and all that this could be.
Then, on Monday, November 7th, we got recognition from the women entrepreneurship community in the Twin Cities by being featured as one of 12 woman-led startups at the WE* MADE IT event. Here was another night of supporters, believers, and customers, excited about the possibility of Sittereco and it's cultural shift towards building community and reinvesting in future generations.
But most of all, on election day, we, ourselves, woke up. We realized the potential of what we could be...if we partnered with every passionate and driven 30-45 year old parent to seek role models for their little kiddos, and encouraged them to pay forward mentorship to the 18-26 year old bright, ambitious sitter, then we could empower the next generation.
In building this cross-generational relationship, we could break the privilege barrier by creating a mentorship and trusted network. And in the process, this empowered trusted sitter segment could be made up of role models to the little 2-12 year old child, surrounding him or her with love, confidence, and a multitude of people to look up to.
That, we realized, was the verbal depiction of our circle of empowerment.
In other words, for all our parent friends who are anxiously exploring ways to turn frustration into action, here's an opportunity to mentor the next generation of role models for your kiddos. For all the young women who want to chase their dreams, here's an opportunity to be empowered while inspiring little ones. For all of us, here's a way to strengthen, educate, and engage in our community in a powerful way for parents, sitters, and women.
So, with that, we are moving fast to bring our vision and product to life further. We are quickly working towards public beta release in early 2017. We are assembling together our team. And most importantly, we are putting you all at the forefront of our efforts, making sure the decisions we make are centered around your engagement, feedback, hopes and dreams.
We have a busy few months ahead of us. While we iterate and optimize on the product-side, we want to engage our VIP Sittereco Closed Beta testers local to the Twin Cities with a yoga empowerment event. And we are thanking them and all of you, for being with us through this journey of support and empowerment. For all our Sittereco Believers not local to the Twin Cities, know that we are working fast and furiously to make our way to you.
Twin Cities Parents, bring your kids (to be watched in a separate area) while you build relationships with sitters through physical and intrinsic empowerment. Sitters, come meet inspiring parents with whom you can get your yoga on, and afterwards, meet their kiddos too.
Come join us in Golden Valley, Minnesota on Thursday, December 8th at 6:30pm, for a free fun-filled, community-themed yoga class for parents and sitters, with a local female wellness entrepreneur, Julia Starr, of Starr Health Co.
RSVP at email@example.com with your 1) Name, 2) Role (Parent or Sitter), 3) If you will bring kids as a parent (age and number of kids), and 4) If you need a yoga mat (please bring your own if you have one).
We believe in this, and we believe in you, but most of all, we believe in all of us and the magic that could take place as we combine forces to drive towards support and empowerment. For parents. For sitters. For women.
So thank you, join us, and let's keep moving!