Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Tatiana Warchola: Hifamilies is an app for parents* that helps families build a community for more acceptance when it comes to parenting issues. In addition to parents, the app is also targeted to all caregivers for children—regardless of their gender identification, cultural background, sexual orientation or parenting style. With a range of search functions, Hifamilies lets users find the perfect match. That way, every caregiver can receive support and acceptance, based on their individual life circumstances. Our society often lacks acceptance, tolerance and diversity with regard to parenting—an area where these qualities would be especially important.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Tatiana Warchola: Sure, and you can buy dozens of different breads at the supermarket (dating apps). Why should we parents only have one app to choose from? We deserve to have a choice of platforms and select the one that suits us best.
Hifamilies has decided to be inclusive. We are tolerant people with big hearts that still have normal parenting problems and joys that are common to us all.
Get-acquainted app for parents
Munich Startup: What is your founding story?
Tatiana Warchola: It started back when I was pregnant with my first daughter and had been looking for an app for mothers, but found none. But 2011 was a time when apps were being created left and right, so I was convinced that there would soon be a get-acquainted app for parents. Fast forward a few years to my second pregnancy with my son, and what can I tell you? There still wasn’t an app that appealed to me. So I decided on the spot to create my own app for parents during my pregnancy.
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Tatiana Warchola: Everything, because I had no prior knowledge of how and where to start, or anything about founding a business. But I had a vision and I wanted to see it become a reality.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Tatiana Warchola: I would like Hifamilies to become a well-known platform for parents, with thousands of users, so that as many families as possible can get more support. My hope is that users will take advantage of functions like the group chat to give one another advice on all sorts of topics and be there for one another.
In five years, I want the app to be well enough established in all DACH countries to allow us to go international.
“Acceptance was higher in Berlin”
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Tatiana Warchola: Actually, it’s been difficult. I had started out in Berlin, where I was still living in the beginning, and the app was very well received there. In Munich, it is also being gladly accepted, but a bit too slowly and reluctantly for my taste. Acceptance was higher in Berlin.
Munich Startup: Risk or security?
Tatiana Warchola: The whole project was a risk from the start and was mainly privately financed, because I wanted to be sure that my idea of an app for parents that is entirely based on tolerance would not be corrupted. It wasn’t about making money fast, it was about building something of value.
Note about the interview from Hifamilies: *The term parents describes all persons who are responsible for children entrusted to them, whether biologically or legally. “Parent” could be used interchangeably with “primary reference person” or “main caregiver.”