Human beings have been raising children since human beings began. So while tech advances that make the whole process of turning babies into adults more fun come along occasionally, we hardly tend to think of the industry segments serving families -- companies making strollers, toys, breast pumps, etc. -- as the most innovative ones out there.
But that's a mistake according to a new list compiled by website Fatherly. While we're busy celebrating VC-funded tech firms, a whole host of organizations are quietly doing incredible things to make family life more awesome. Fatherly recently gathered together 20 of the most impressive for a new report honoring the most innovative organizations for parents and kids out there today.
Some of the firms that made the honor roll are behemoths you've no doubt heard of before (Amazon, Dyson, Mattel), but when I reached out to Fatherly's co-founder Simon Isaacs, he happily nominated five small organizations from the list to receive the sub-honor of tiny companies coming up with truly big innovations for families. Here they are:
"Loog reinvented how we get kids into music combining a maker experience (the guitar comes unassembled) and tech with an incredible app experience," explains Isaacs.
2. Lost My Name
You'd think it would be pretty hard to innovate the good, old kid's book, but Lost My Name has managed it. The company is "bringing together technology and art to rethink children's book publishing, resulting in beautiful personalized books that have become a go-to gift for kids and parents," according to Isaacs.
Every parents can tell you bottles are fussy -- they're difficult to clean properly, annoying to heat to just the right temperature, and even more of a hassle when you add the whole process of pumping and storing breast milk to the equation.
But two engineers dads who trained at MIT Media, may have come up with a solution in the form of Kiinde. Isaacs calls it "one of the best bottle warmers out there," adding that "their pouch and rack system makes milk storage really easy." (Which, let me tell you from recent experience, is an impressive feat of engineering.)
You end up owning an incredible amount of toys when you have kids. Wouldn't it be nice if they were sustainably made, so all that fun didn't trash the environment for your little ones? Tegu is on the case, leading the toy industry in sustainability practices throughout its supply chain while also creating totally crave-worthy toys.
5. e-Nable The Future
Small businesses aren't just making everyday life a little easier and more fun for families, they're also helping those with special challenges. Non-profile e-Nable The Future is a leader in this category, connecting 3D printing enthusiasts with kids in need of prosthetics. "It's a smart model for nonprofits supporting kids and families," notes Isaacs.
Here's Liam from South Africa.The first child to ever get a 3D printed hand.