Munich Startup: Who are you and what do you do? Please introduce yourselves!
Eric Insel, Famzy: We are Famzy, a team of motivated moms & dads. As a self-employed consultant in the startup industry, I, Eric (29 years old), had the chance to delight in the joys of parenthood during my parental leave, and also came up with the idea to start Famzy. After lots of discussions with other parents at Munich’s great playgrounds, the idea matured. Our co-founder Julia (34 years old) is a mother of two who coordinates our project development, and mom Anna (31 years old) takes care of all things marketing and reviews all of our plans with her red SEO pen.
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Eric Insel, Famzy: Now that I’m a new parent, I encounter unexpected obstacles in daily parenting based on my own and my wife`s experiences, which often involve time-consuming internet research. Finding the right childbirth classes in Munich, for example, isn’t as easy as it might sound. A lack of transparency, too many different points of contact and no overview of where there are still open spots make it unbelievably difficult to find what you’re looking for. We’ve lived in Munich for nearly ten years, but with a baby, you suddenly see your neighborhood with new eyes. Where is the closest playground? Where are changing stations in the city, and which cafés are the perfect place to go with my kids for an afternoon break? And last but not least, since we were the first to become parents in our circle of friends, we were bummed about not knowing other parents with the same interests and in the same stage of life.
“With a baby, you suddenly see your neighborhood with new eyes”
We enrich parents’ lives by developing useful and time-saving solutions for moms and dads and bringing existing offers together on one platform. We developed an application that includes an app and a website to make it extremely easy to find other moms and dads with the same interests or, for example, mommy and me classes or ideas for things to do in your free time in the immediate neighborhood. It has been so cool to watch how many partners and parents have already been participating during our beta stage, which means we can offer sustainable added value.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Eric Insel, Famzy: There are modern solutions that solve many specific challenges, such as really good mom apps, Facebook groups or parent blogs. Famzy is different based on two features:
1. We are a platform for parents, which means our app can be used by moms and dads. That doesn’t sound very significant, but it’s actually really difficult for me to find adequate solutions as a dad. They just don’t exist.
2. We enrich parents’ lives by offering time-saving and useful solutions. Each process is designed to give you the right answer with just a few clicks or swipes. After all, our target group is made up of moms & dads and we have no intention of keeping them on their smartphones for hours or being an alternative to existing social media channels.
Munich Startup: What have been your three biggest challenges so far?
Eric Insel, Famzy: Our biggest challenge so far was developing the application itself. To plan all of the necessary steps in a small team, to technically structure them and test them on all end devices, be it a laptop, iOS smartphone or Android smartphone, was not easy, but was well worth the effort.
Famzy is looking for investors
As a bootstrapped company, it’s obviously always been difficult for us to intensify our marketing. With the launch of our app, we now want to try to find investors who believe in our idea and want to support our creativity and hands-on mentality with liquid resources.
And then there’s the constant balancing act between family life, our main jobs and the Famzy project. We’ve had several “Skype calls” from our kids’ rooms in Munich to make progress on the project. Making compromises because you have too many plans and projects but too little time is certainly something we’re all familiar with. With kids, you’re also limited with how flexible you are in terms of time. That requires certain skills in project coordination, putting a lot of trust in your team and structured procedures.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Eric Insel, Famzy: In one year, we’d like to have reached a point with Famzy where we’ve found our first investors and for Famzy to be the sole professional focus for all four founders. We would obviously also like to continue to grow rapidly with our app and to increase the number of users from nearly 400 beta app testers to 2,500 Famzy members. At the same time, we’d also like to get an increasing number of suppliers and service providers on board with us as an advertising platform so they can effectively spread information about their own products. Our focus is primarily on Munich and other big cities in southern Germany.
In five years, we will have established Famzy as a parent platform on the market whose experienced team continues to develop and scrutinize it each and every day to avoid standstill and offer significant added value for parents and service providers. We will remain true to our philosophy to offer the basic features for free and use an open infrastructure to provide fast points of contact for partners, cooperation and competitors too.
“A very high quality network of go-getters and freethinkers”
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Eric Insel, Famzy: Munich is the ideal location for startups. With its creative and super bright minds, our Bavarian capital provides a very high-quality network of go-getters and freethinkers. Thanks to the many excellent universities, you can count on always being able to find motivated top-notch professionals. For tech startups like Famzy in particular, Munich provides ideal conditions. Munich is the city of choice for us on both a personal and professional level. We simply feel at home here – be it at work or by the Isar while enjoying some quality family time.
Munich Startup: Coworking or your own office?
Eric Insel, Famzy: At the moment, we’re all working from home. But if we didn’t each have our own equipped offices to use, I would be very open to the coworking option. In my opinion, a common office – be it coworking or your own private office space – is no longer necessary in our current working world. What’s important is being intrinsically motivated to make your own company a success, and that works anywhere you have an internet connection and a laptop.