Alysia is the founder of Best4Baby, a service matching expectant mothers to local and affordable doulas. This brand new company expects to go live in the summer of 2018.
This is the first in a series of two interviews with Alysia. Read the second part of her interview here.
What inspired you to start your Best4Baby?
Since the beginning of time, women around the world, among all cultures, have supported other women during childbirth. Although the term "doula" may be more recent, the job of loving a woman through all stages of her pregnancy is timeless. When I began practicing as a doula, I met women who expressed wanting a doula but for various reasons didn't have one; this literally broke my heart. Besides these women not having the extra support to assist them through labor, research has shown that doula-assisted births have better outcomes (decreased chance of cesarean section and higher rates of breastfeeding, for example). Best4Baby was created out of the need to help connect expectant mothers seeking doulas to find the right one for them because I am convinced there is a doula out there for every mom.
How will your company help moms?
Best4Baby matches expectant mothers to local and affordable doulas in their area. Our personalized services will guide moms through the searching, interviewing, vetting, and hiring of doulas, saving families time and money. We expect to go live in the summer of 2018.
What advice would you give to fellow women who are looking to start their own tech company?
Go for it and own it! If you have an idea, write it down, share it, revise it, and repeat. I recently saw a shirt that read "The Future is Female." I totally loved the slogan, but as I began to reflect, I realized the PRESENT is female. If we want a seat at the table, we have to take it.
Trust me - I know that sharing your business idea takes a level of vulnerability, but it is the best thing you can do. It's okay if you don't know all of the technical jargon or the inner workings of coding; know enough to ask questions! Align yourself with others who know more than you and don't be afraid to make mistakes - that's the beauty of starting a business.
One of the biggest obstacles women experience is funding their ideas, how have you made this happen?
I was really fortunate to participate in the Blast Furnace, a 12-week student business accelerator program at the University of Pittsburgh. I was accepted as a Fellow in that program and was awarded $10,000 upon completion. Also, at the end of the program, we all competed in a Shark Tank-like pitch competition. I won first place, taking home another $2,500.
In the future I plan to apply to additional accelerator programs and participate in more pitch competitions. I also did some fundraising with family and friends.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you or your company?
I enjoy long walks on the beach. :) No, really, I do!
In all seriousness, I am so grateful for doors that have opened and some that have closed. Best4Baby is just beginning, and I can't wait to see how it evolves. If anyone ever wants to learn more about doulas and what we do, I am always happy to connect.
Connect with Alysia: Website • Facebook • Instagram