LactApp is a start-up devoted to helping women who have had babies with a mobile application that can automatically give them personalized answers to their questions. The app has answered more than 1.7 million questions using artificial intelligence. Currently, it is the leading application in breastfeeding and motherhood in Spain, and more than 25,000 active users interact using the app each month. Plus, there is also a version of the app for healthcare professionals to gain knowledge and better care for breastfeeding mothers. Maria Berruezo, cofounder of LactApp, explains why she created the start-up and some past and future challenges.
I became an entrepreneur because I believe change is possible and that, if the right people get together, we can have a real impact on our environment. When we become mothers, many women are shocked by the reality of the situation they find: breastfeeding can be very hard, unpleasant and difficult to find the right resources and answers. My partners, Alba Padró and Enric Pallarés, and I saw this clearly from the very beginning and threw ourselves into achieving this huge goal of allowing all mothers to have the breastfeeding experience they want.
On the path we took to create LactApp, we made many decisions that have been a turning point. Possibly the most important of all was to make LactApp free for mothers. This was an added complication in creating our business model and sharing the project with potential investors, but it allowed us to break down many barriers with mothers, healthcare professionals and, especially, public and private hospitals, universities, technology centers and other organizations that see LactApp as an opportunity to have a real impact on motherhood through technology.
That's a difficult question. Entrepreneurs get a lot of advice, some more useful than others, at each stage of the process. Maybe one thing that stands out is something my husband asked me recently: "If you had to close the company today, what would you regret?" This is a good way to reflect and realize where you're focusing your daily efforts and what is truly of strategic importance to your project.
Creating a start-up from scratch, you have to face many challenges all the time. And even more if you are working in motherhood and breastfeeding, where there is hardly any innovation and a huge lack of awareness. In the short term, we are working on medical validation of the app with medical institutions and universities, internationalizing it to the United Kingdom and South America, university training and financial sustainability. You'll be hearing from us soon!