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Opportunity Area "Surprise Us" Title of Submission: Baby's World

"We Bring the Village to You" A modern day virtual village for new parents providing an aggregation of recommended necessities in one place

Photo of Karishma Donde
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Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

Our social piece of the platform used to be grouped together with "Resources" however due to the demand, feedback received, mentorship, and many discussions within the team we found that it was significant to ensure it has its own area on the Baby's World Platform.
We have come up with a new slogan based off of some mentoring as well as brainstorming "We Will Bring the Village to You" as a twist on the old saying "It takes a village to raise a child". We have planned to focus on what the digital village would look like and have spent more time ensuring that parents of all backgrounds (age, income level etc.) feel more empowered, honoring cultural differences. Everytime a user opens the app they will see and empowering message as well as through push notifications. The platform is much more personalized giving it a "village" feel
We also ran a quick survey and poll on if people (in general) feel comfortable with inputting their income level range vs. an address (this information is critical in being able to aggregate the platform correctly) almost 90% of the voters said that they would not input income level. Infact, users are more likely to provide an address. We will be using geo location instead to figure out income level using an algorithm.
We are also in progress of working in machine learning for job profiles so the job board will be more intuitive as well as provide accurate job listings for the user. Questions asked in the job board are tailored to the information you enter when you register.

Name or Organization

gosmartAR, LLC

Sara G- Strategy/Architecture
Jason T- Emerging Technologies
Adi M- Data Scientist
Karishma D- Product/Marketing/Design/Business Mgmt
Dongsu L- Platform Engineer

Geography

Los Angeles, CA

What is your stage of development?

  • New Innovator, with less than one year of experience in ECD

Type

  • Team

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

You’ve heard that old saying, “it takes a village to raise a child” and the bad news is we don’t live in villages anymore, but the good news is we can help bring the village to you. Baby’s World, a modern day virtual village, is a Yelp for all new parents providing an aggregation of recommended available services, goods, tools and resources all ranked in highest order from “the village.” Moreover, we provide a community of other parents, nannies, psychologists who you can chat with when you are feeling alone & meetup with when you need help.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

Baby's World aims to create an arsenal of best in class resources available to families and parents (single & married) in one place. We have noticed that there are too many disconnected experiences serving a single purpose... and now instead of downloading 100 different apps, blogs, and yelp searches with Baby's World you can get everything you need in one place! We believe that Baby's World is the only app that caters to every constraint that a new mom (low, middle OR high income class) has in one place so parents can focus on their child growing to their full potential. Our digital village also adds in a social component so new moms and dads don't have to feel alone, can meetup with other parents in similar situations or babies the same age as theirs (based on data and machine learning) and also add in a family component being able to invite extended family members into their "Village" making sharing and communication easier no matter where you are in the world.
Baby's World should be available in all countries-- however as a pilot we will most likely start with the North American Region and then expand globally. We believe that this platform covers all 3 areas described above:
1. Early Experiences Matter
2. Supporting Parents and Families
3. Leveraging People and Places

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

1. Disconnected Customer Experiences: New mothers struggle with a multitude of things that are interconnected however struggle to find reliable resources for problems they are trying to solve i.e. child care.
2. Making your life easier: When mothers and fathers are stressed about multiple things at one time it’s hard to prioritize learning experiences of a newborn
3. Fostering communities: There is a lack of community and emotional support for new mothers

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

We recently read some research from the Early Learning Lab on what parents do in situations where they don't know the answer and the number 1 answer was: "Most parents first ask a friend or family member first if they have a question on their child’s development, and then use Google to find the answer to their question if they need additional information" (http://glenpricegroup.com/the-early-learning-lab-releases-report-on-technology-for-parents-of-children-ages-0-3/). This coincides directly with our slogan, "We bring the village to you" because the apps you see on your platform are personalized to cater to the unique needs of each individual. All apps will be ranked socially from other moms, dads, and people in your village. Moreover, you will have first hand access to a community of other moms and dads to chat with, experts, educators, and anyone you want to add to your personalized village. There is an on-going registry to register for the items that you may need where your village OR the community is able to donate and purchase.

Our goal is to create a platform that enables mothers/fathers to have what they need to take care of their baby efficiently (ranked on social recommendations by "the village"), build communities, and have the capacity to provide a great learning environment for their 0-3 year old.

The platform would aggregate different resources for each individual that can be utilized and connected for use. For resources that require it, there will be location based services. The registration process will ask the following questions so the platform can be configured properly to accommodate needs effectively
o Name, Email, Password
o Number of children
o Location (Zip Code)
o Address
Dietary Restrictions
o Vegan
o Vegitarian
o None
Age:
o 0-6 Mos
o 6-12 Mos
o 12-18 Mos
o 18-2year
o 2-3year
Preferred online shopping market place
o Amazon
o Google
o Other
Many of the services that we would connect into have their own charges which we do not control. We aim to find the best, most highly ranked resources for parents to easily find what they need.
Once you download the platform on your smart device you will have access to six categorical areas all connected to services & apps that exist today:
1. “Care Services”
o Daycare
o Nannies
o One-Time Babysitting
o House Cleaning
o Luxury (massages, on demand hair services etc.)
2. “Delivery Services”
o Baby Food Delivery
o Breast Milk
o Diapers/Onsies
o Clothing
o Vitamins
3. “Health/Wellness”
o Fitness for Mom/Babies
o On Demand Psychiatric Services
o Baby Monitoring
o Meal Prep for Moms/Dads
4. “Learning Portal”
o Recommended Toys
o Story Time
o Languages
o Videos/Shows
o Learning Kits
5. “Resources”
o Tutorials & Guides
o Recommended Products
o On Demand Help
o Job Board
o Government Aid (will only show up for those who are low income or cannot afford most services that have been aggregated and is based on the user selection during registration)
6. "Your Village"
o Chatrooms & Forums
o Meetups
o Community Donation Box
o My Village
The platform will also include a music player connected (via Spotify) to playlists for babies that can be played at their convenience.
Those who provide relevant services can also hook into the platform and post what types of services they provide.
The platform will automatically configure what apps are available for users based on Location, Baby's Age & Income Levels in order to inclusively support families from all backgrounds. We will also be using machine learning algorithms to be able to give users best-in-class customer experiences. If users have already existing services that we provide the platform will ask the user for their login & that app will be easily accessible through the platform instead of using separate apps.
The aggregation of services and resources would be a combo of: Bots, APIs, machine learning to analyze quality of data
Recommended products, rankings and ratings would be based off of social computing
Our meetup recommendations are based on data and machine learning

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

Anyone who is raising a child or expecting a child. This platform is a one-stop-shop to anything and everything you need for yourself and your baby. Moreover, we aim to create social communities for people to find others in their same situation.
I have interviewed moms, dads & families (~50) letting them play with the prototype and many of them said they wished there was something like this that existed today. Most of them get really excited & tell me about the services they use... which tells me they want a place to communicate/share/discuss great things that they have discovered as a parent.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

Our aggregation tool is one of the most powerful technologies on our platform. It enables us to service the customer based on their needs. For example, if your family is a low income family, the aggregator will show you all the services based on what you can afford, government aid etc.
It will also enable available government help (for example, show you a way to connect to agents) & as a default feature we have added in a job board for moms/dads that are looking work.
One of our MVPs for the platform was focused on building out the "village". Through many of our interviews we noticed that moms from all backgrounds feel abandoned and alone post pregnancy and in most situations their family lives in different cities or countries and were unable to visit. Being able to have immediate access to people that are in "their village" became a rapid MVP. Moreover, reading analysis of how much other parents value recommendations those who are already parents made it clear that a general chat forum would be a necessary component of the social piece in our app.
Having all resources in one place for parents of all backgrounds would make it easier for parents to focus on their child instead of unnecessary stresses and confusion. Now, parents just have to download one app to enable access to all kinds of information, tools, services, apps and communities all in one place.
We want to empower moms and dads and honor those with cultural differences in the best way we can.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

The platform aggregates its services toward income levels of parents. We wanted a way for parents to have more time to spend with their child instead of standing in line for government help. We have enabled features that will show processes to get services that they need. For example, to get Obamacare, we knew that there had to be an agent that has to help you register. Through the government aid section we would give directions on how to go about doing this.
For those who are low income it will enable resources such as types of services the government can offer & mainly free services (including care for their child, hook ups to non profits and state career centers)
There is no charge to download and use the app

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (5000 characters)

A new way of engaging with our end users by connecting customer experiences by use of our aggregation technology, the ability to predict and make recommendations based off of data and machine learning enabling us to service users & their needs easily.
In an over stimulated app world (especially for parenting) the idea of being able to have everything you need as a parent in once place is a demand in the marketplace.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

Barriers to scale would be lack of funding support for a proper cloud implementation to support a world wide audience.

The platform is a mobile first, cloud first & social first being location aware can be localized for a worldwide audience (scale) platform would aggregate appropriately based on region culture etc. as it is a listening platform.

Tentative plans in terms of financial stability would include something like "featured" area where an app, blog, product/service would pay to be featured on the platform.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

Combined experience years of the team gives us the confidence to build this out completely. The 4 technologists on the gosmartAR, LLC team have around 15 years of experience in emerging technologies, tech stacks, digital transformation, strategy & architecture. We have built a tech stack is proprietary and has been evolving to keep up with the changing trends ("digital life") in the technology field now supporting machine learning capabilities, giving us the ability to create various user experiences.

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (5000 characters)

We have explored some options with our business model our current state business model is based on ad revenue and potentially adding a new area of the platform which shows "featured" in which new apps, services, tools, products etc. would have to pay to be featured.

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (5000 characters)

The idea for Baby's World actually came up from seeing some younger mothers who were still in school struggle with a multitude of things including what mommy groups to join, online sources and communities to go to, watching them feel isolated. After noticing this I started to ask some friends and family members lose questions and from that gosmartAR led some design sessions and looked at the available technology solutions. I also used an immersion technique to live out what it was like to be a single mother, new parent, age 20, going to college and trying to start a career all at the same time.
In this process we did around 50 interviews and incorporated some of our findings into what became our prototype. For example we never would have thought of putting in a music player for moms to have easy access to without having taken a HCD approach.
Next we built a prototype using POP (http://marvelapp.com) and went out and tested to see what our users thought. We tested this with a few users and collected feedback and continue to iterate on this. Now in hopes to go a little wider throughout the US, we have created a facebook group in hopes to build an online responsive community to constantly give us feedback.
Prototype: https://marvelapp.com/119cgbhg/screen/34852319
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/babysworld123/

The video above shows iteration 2 of our prototype which is something we are currently using to test for low income moms and dads. We have done over 10 interviews and plan to host a design session in order to empower and enable those from all backgrounds.

Iteration 2: https://marvelapp.com/36hij72/screen/37832308

Mid Level Family: https://marvelapp.com/119cgbhg
Low Income Family: https://marvelapp.com/36hij72/screen/37832308

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

Baby's world was an idea that came up as a combination of all my team members being parents themselves, series of observations from friends and family members, and over 50 interviews from new mothers/fathers ranging from age 20 to 40.

Although we have seen other platforms similar to Baby's World the biggest missing component on these other apps is the social/human aspect.  The social area of our platform includes a chat room functionality aggregated those who have a baby that is in the same age range is your baby. We have added in a community donation box, forums, and location based meetups/fitness groups. Throughout all of our interviews there was a common theme that mothers, young and old, have the hardest time becoming a new mom because they feel that they don’t have anyone they can relate to or talk with. Babies world aims to give these new moms the  support and friendship that they need while being able to foster a great learning environment.

gosmartAR is a technology and design firm that plans to host live design thinking/sessions to come up with solutions on how technology can improve, benefit humanity and become more consumable to the people. My partners are amazing techno-rats with 15+ years experience in strategy, innovation & emerging technologies. I am the youngest member specializing in design research, biz management, marketing and product evolution with 8 years of experience.

We first came up with this idea of building a digital platform based off of aggregation and social computing about a year and a half ago. We noticed that often times people are scrolling on their phones having a hard time finding what they are looking for easily resorting to some kind of search function. Our goal was for people to live an easy digital life. New technologies such as machine learning, natural language interface would make usability really consumer friendly and enable us to collect customer information and have the ability to easily service them.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

Mainly we need funding to have the ability to scale (cloud support, marketing etc.) & create a better user experience. The team is experienced in various areas however those that specialize in early childhood development could really help. Also those that have development skillset for emerging technologies such as machine learning/big data, growth hacking, dev ops etc. could help us as well.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

1. Those who specialize in early childhood development
2. Those who specialize in health/wellness post-birth
3. Developer support in machine learning, dev ops, cloud etc.
4. UI Designer
5. Non-Profit partnership for those who provide technology (iphones, laptops) to those who cannot afford to buy iphones/laptops etc.
6. Those who think they can benefit in the platform and want to continue to give us feedback
7. Funding to have the ability to scale

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

Anyone working in the early development/health field(s), UI, growth hacking, non-profit partnerships

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

http://www.karishmadonde.com/babys-world.html

[Optional] Attachments: Please upload relevant attachments or graphics or show us how you prototyped.

You can play with Baby's World prototype by clicking on the following link:
Mid Level Family: https://marvelapp.com/119cgbhg
Low Income Family: https://marvelapp.com/36hij72/screen/37832308

Mentorship: How was your idea supported? (5000 characters)

Yes we had a great mentor, Tamara, who has an extensive background in the ECD space. She was exactly who we needed to talk to since none of us work in ECD. She gave us a lot of great feedback and questions in terms of ensuring that we are real supporting outlier demographics such as teen parents & low income families (accommodating food stamps etc). She also encouraged us to continue to further develop this idea of "We Bring the Village to You" because it is true that we no longer have villages to help raise our children innovating further on empowering new parents.
Overvall a great mentor and experience, thanks Open IDEO!

Name or Organization

gosmartAR, LLC

3 co-founders: Karishma Donde, Jason Tadros & Saranathan Govindarajan

Geography

Los Angeles, CA

What is your stage of development?

  • New Innovator, with less than one year of experience in ECD

Type

  • Team

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources.
View more

Attachments (3)

Baby's World Overview (1).pdf

Baby's World Overview

13.jpg

Market Use Case

14.jpg

Competitive Advantage

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