Last week, Google for Entrepreneurs (GFE) announced that Chicago startup MyChild was chosen to compete in Google Demo Day 2016.
Demo Day first started in April of 2014, after GFE partnered with ten tech hubs around North America to help local startup communities thrive. And since then, innovators from the US, Canada, and Mexico have been flown to Silicon Valley to showcase their business.
Representing local startup hub 1871, MyChild is a SaaS (“software as a service”) platform that helps early childhood education centers create paperless daily reports for parents. The software helps teachers provide immediate information updates by generating electronic reports with a few key strokes.
Most importantly, however, parents can access a report. Complete with pictures and comments on their kids’ well-being and attitude, they can check it anytime on their laptop or phone.
In less than two weeks, CEO/founder Hugo Augusto will get the opportunity to showcase MyChild to a significant pool of talent and potential funders. During his time there, he’ll also receive mentoring, feedback, and support from Silicon Valley veterans at an exclusive series of talks and workshops.
We caught up with Hugo to discuss this game-changing news. And, how he’s preparing for the big trip.
Q&A w/ Hugo Augusto, CEO at MyChild
1. What made you guys decide to apply for Google Demo Day?
“The opportunity to pitch for Silicon Valley investors was important for our company because we are looking for a Series A investment. We love Chicago and were excited with the opportunity to represent the city.”
2. Did you celebrate at all when you got the news?
“We haven’t celebrated yet. I think the team is honored and proud of being selected for this event, but we feel that we haven’t won anything yet. It is a good feeling though.”
3. What is the single biggest challenge you face every day?
“Managing people. Hiring and training are still my main challenges.”
4. Do you plan to leverage the problems with the Illinois education system as an indicator of your products current or future relevance/influence? And if so, how?
“I am not an expert on the Illinois Education System so I don’t feel comfortable to talk about it. I can talk about the problems I see in Early Education in the whole country since we serve 40 states from our Chicago office.
First, in a very high-level picture, the US has an access problem. Only 66% of children 3-5 are enrolled in a preschool program when compared with 81% in OECD countries.
Secondly, I believe that it is ridiculous that Early Education teachers can spend so much time with paperwork activities when they should be focused on children’s learning and development.
Finally, parent involvement is critical for children to be prepared for school age, but most parents don’t even know what the Early Education Standards requirements are for their children and most centers don’t share them with the parents. I believe that better parent engagement is critical to improve the US Education system and our team fights for it every day.”
5. What types of assets, resources, or changes do you hope Demo Day will bring to MyChild?
“TALENT, FUNDING and ACCESS TO MEDIA. It is a good moment to get more exposure in the media and make everyone aware of the importance of Parent Engagement in Early Education. Specifically, how important technology can be to help teachers and parents spend more time with children. It’s critical for children’s learning and preparation for school age.”