Did you know?
The average children's show has over 40 edits per minute of programming. That means that in 60 seconds, your kid is watching the screen cut to different images 40 or more times. "Mister Rogers," by comparison, had an average of 4 edits per minute. That's a big difference. The Mother Company falls in between those two.
How kids learn is an important factor in programming:
Children learn in different layers. It was important for us to be able to reach out to each child and their particular learning styles. That's why The Mother Company has shows, apps, activity sets, and online parenting resources that reinforce one another. Most children's shows have one expert that signs off on scripts. We have five experts, each with a different specialty in child development and psychology.
Pop-Up Parenting is an option in the DVD menu. Experts say that television shouldn't be shown to children under the age of 2 years old. But after that, co-viewing with parents is best. Pop-Up Parenting gives discrete subtitles containing tips from experts for the parents. We want parents to become better parents while their children become better people, too.
If you have an idea that you want to make happen, this is where you should start:
Go to investor workshops, read trade publications, and learn how to write a business plan. You must learn how to write a business plan. You can buy how-to books or take classes. It's your most important tool. Find out what your funding needs are, what your potential returns are, and how much money you will need for seed money. Then talk to every one! Ask them what their thoughts are, what their questions and concerns are. And most importantly, do they know anyone that would be interested in investing?
Grass Roots vs. Professional Investors:
You can approach professional investors, but they may want too large of a percentage of the company. We were looking to raise seed money of $300K but we actually raised $450K from parents. These are people we pitched on the playground and at play dates. The Mother Company just closed our first round of non-grass roots funding at $3.5 million dollars. All of our seed funding has come privately from parents. Our biggest investor was a mom/customer.
Don't Be Intimidated!
Men aren't afraid to ask for money. Women need to feel just as entitled to go after their own goals. You have to know you can do it! We knew we could do it. We are spectacularly ambitious and could not be stopped. We made a weekly to-do list. Some of them were insanely bold, like "get Mel Brooks to narrate an animated cartoon," "raise a million dollars," and "write a book." We just put one foot in front of the other. We made weekly, monthly, and annual goals. Every time we got more people involved, that was that many more people pushing me to keep on. And that's what you have to do: Keep On. No Matter What.
For more with The Mother Company Founders Abbie Schiller & Samantha Kurtzman-Counter, visit www.themotherco.com.