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September 5, 2019

Child Development Startups are on the Rise

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There’s a burgeoning ecosystem in Colorado that’s demonstrating our powerful entrepreneurial community is at the forefront of innovating in the space of child development.  It’s no secret that the earliest years of life (ages 0-5) are when the greatest amount of brain development occurs, which sets the stage for everything else downstream like cognitive development, social and emotional health, and the ability to be a high functioning adult.  Ventures that focus on early childhood issues, range from prenatal care to early childhood health and mental health to early childhood education and all the teaching and learning that goes with it.  It’s a chance to focus on supporting the amazing human potential in all children from the start, and there’s tons of opportunity in our state. 

According to esteemed economist James Heckman, known for the Heckman curve, the earlier we invest in child development, the greater returns we see in society. This means higher achievement, better school success and lifelong impacts on employment and earnings as well as long-term positive health outcomes. In fact, the Heckman equation measures a 13 percent return on investment (ROI) when we invest in early childhood compared to lower returns in the decades that follow.

Not only is this interesting food for thought, but our Colorado startup scene is bursting with innovative energy in the space of child development. We need to rally around these amazing founders because they’re pioneers in the next frontier, changing how we collaborate and solving the toughest challenges in early childhood.

You’ll likely run into a few noteworthy innovators in this space. For instance, at Denver Startup Week, Nanno is providing free on-site child care. Nanno recently went through 500 Startups and is revolutionizing how we find vetted babysitters.  MyVillage and Good Buy Gear were just named Colorado Inno’s 2019 “Inno on Fire” because they are making huge strides.  MyVillage is changing the way we do childcare and Colorado is one of their first locations. Good Buy Gear is reinventing how parents and families buy and sell baby stuff by creating a better marketplace for used gear. These are just a few of the entrepreneurs focused on child-based startups that are located in or coming to Colorado. 

Lastly, Futurebound launched in Colorado this summer, and is one of the first movements of its kind in the nation. Futurebound’s purpose is to change the future of child development by fueling an ecosystem of innovators, changemakers and ventures to work collectively on developing solutions that have greater impact.  Futurebound is a segment of the existing startup ecosystem in Colorado, connecting leaders and experts in early childhood with leaders in venture development—win-win for both sides, and especially young children and families from under-resourced communities. Gary Community Investments spearheaded Futurebound and Uncharted is partnering to help shape the social impact and venture focus.

If you want to get involved in this segment of the startup community, a great way to start is attending a special meetup for founders and ventures during Denver Startup Week. Futurebound will be hosting this event September 18 at 5pm at Gary Community Investments.

Email Sarabeth Berk to learn more and follow Futurebound for other news and announcements.

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