Most people don’t throw a party and walk out with a minimum viable product for a new startup.
But that’s exactly what Kimberly Jolasun did at her own baby shower.
Villie is working to create a ‘virtual village’ with a suite of fun online games to mark pregnancy milestones. The goal is to support expecting parents and help bring family members — regardless of location — together to support the new child.
Their first product, the Gender Reveal Game, has grown dramatically from the MVP built using Canva, Excel and PayPal. Now over 3,000 expecting mothers have used the platform to connect with family members and raise funds for their new addition in a fun (and socially distanced) way.
Jolasun, a New York transplant, told Hypepotamus she was actually drawn to Atlanta to be closer to family when she was expecting her first.
“I’m first-generation American, my parents came straight from Ghana. That ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is not just a saying, it’s life,” said Jolasun.
“When I was pregnant with my first child, I was able to get all the support. But when I looked to the left and the right of me, my colleagues and friends weren’t getting that. They had family all across the country, maybe a sick parent, or they didn’t have a big family, or they just weren’t able to get that support.”
While the game launched prior to COVID, the team has seen a dramatic increase in users, as expecting mothers look for new ways to connect with family and friends.
The goal, Jolasun says, is to extend online games for important milestones up to the baby’s first birthday so that mother’s feel supported and connected to the resources needed. “Because of COVID, I feel obligated to my moms to come up with more products for her. She needed it before, but now I feel like she really needs it. We have moms who haven’t seen their mother-in-laws or their own mothers since March, and they’re about to pop,” said Jolasun.
Along with co-founders Kendrick Williams and Sam Beal, the team is currently looking to raise a seed round to make sure they can best support mothers.
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