A Two Feet Retrospective: m-Time

March 15, 2017

In the lead up to Two Feet 2017, we want to look back on some of the incredible work our alumni are doing.


This week, we look to m-Time, an enterprise run by Dr Yan Ting Choong and Sarah Agboola out of Melbourne. Yan came up with the idea for m-Time after reflecting on a custom in Chinese culture. After a woman gives birth, a nanny is sent to her home to support the new mother emotionally and physically through the child’s first month. This gives the new mother the space and time to recover from birth and to focus on bonding with her child.

Sarah came on board when she realised her social engineering and digital community skills could help to create a shift in the mindset of new parents toward normalising accepting help.

Through further research, Yan and Sarah discovered that new mothers with adequate support form better bonds with their babies and have higher sense of self-worth. When mothers take regular time for self-care, they are likely to be happier. Yan reasoned that if having dedicated time for self-care helped new mothers in other countries, it should also be a norm in western cultures.

Last year, the duo were part of our Melbourne Two Feet cohort. We chatted to them about how m-Time is going and what’s coming up for the enterprise this year.

 

“It shouldn’t be considered taboo to admit that it’s hard or that sometimes you need help. Instead, we’d like to see a new narrative about the importance of parents taking care of themselves physically and mentally”.

– Sarah Agboola (L) and Dr Tan Ting Choong (R), co-Founders of m-Time

 

Hi Sarah and Yan! Why did you start m-Time?

m-Time came to life through a desire to support transitions into parenthood. After a series of interviews and product testing with parents of all backgrounds, we quickly determined that working parents of both genders desired more time to bond with their children, and have more time for self-care.This insight shaped m-Time as it stands today and led to the development of our signature Mumcierges, all-in-one personal assistants for parents.

Where was m-Time in its growth before taking part in Two Feet?

When we started Two Feet we had done one round of testing based on our original model (baby shower gift packages). Through the workshops on Theory of Change at Two Feet, we were able to understand what type of complementary activities and services we needed to offer in order to help parents on a long term basis rather than as one off “treats”.

Why did you decide to take part in Two Feet?

We were blown away by the mentors. We had originally come to TDi to get some general advice on social enterprise but after only a 30 minute conversation, we walked out feeling energised about how big m-Time could be, and how much we could help change cultural attitudes about parenting.

 

What did you learn, and how are you applying those skills or lessons to your business today?
The biggest takeaways for us were the learnings on the theory of change and social impact measurement. These tools have helped us keep our social values in check while we work toward creating a commercially viable business.

What would you say to a start-up considering Two Feet?

Take the workshops seriously and make actionable plans for how you’ll use the tools you’ve been provided. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information being thrown at you but if you take the time to write what actions you want to take after each workshop, it’ll be easier to keep track.

What do you hope to achieve with m-Time in 2017?

By the end of 2017 we hope to be providing Mumcierge services to parents all over Melbourne and be preparing for an expansion to Sydney and Brisbane.

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