Working parents of young children in the U.S. must often grapple with the challenges of childcare that can exceed $1,000 per month, per child. Faced with the expense, many families often decide that it’s simply more practical for a parent to exit the workforce in order to care for the children. Usually, it’s a mother who takes time off, which can significantly depress her future earnings should she choose to restart her career. The decision of a parent to exit a role, even temporarily, also proves a problem to organizations seeking to minimize costly employee turnover and retain top talent.
Observing the pain points related to costly childcare experienced by parents and employers alike, Jamee Herbert developed a solution – BridgeCare, a workplace benefit that helps parents find and afford childcare. The CEO and Co-Founder aims to make quality childcare accessible for working parents and to provide more options for mothers to maintain their career paths. Her startup took part in the 2018 Techstars accelerator, and participated in Village Capital’s Future of Work & Learning 2019 accelerator program for startups operating in the workforce development space. A total of 11 emerging companies joined the cohort, and they voted to award BridgeCare with a $100,000 investment from Michelson 20MM.
“The fact that BridgeCare was peer-selected by her cohort to receive our investment award speaks volumes of the value and potential they see in her and her company,” says Gary K. Michelson, M.D., Founder of Michelson 20MM. “Like her fellow entrepreneurs, we are excited to support Jamee and the solutions she and her teams are developing to help women further their careers while ensuring their children receive high-quality, affordable care.”
We are particularly proud to invest in BridgeCare and Jamee as a female founder as we do our part in increasing the number of women who receive venture funding. Last year, female-founded and mixed-gender teams received roughly 11.5% of all venture capital investment, a slight increase from the 10.6% in 2018. While 2019 represented an all-time high, the figure is rather uninspiring when framed as 88.5% of venture capital investment flowed to all-male teams. Still, we are encouraged that the VC community is targeting more female entrepreneurs. In fact, Chloe Capital and the ECMC Foundation doled out over $1.25 million to female founders in the last 6 months as part of the #InvestinWomen tour. We were proud to team with them to sponsor the inaugural #InvestinWomen Los Angeles event late last year, headlined by HBO star Suzanner Cryer, who plays a venture capitalist in HBO’s Silicon Valley. And just last month, Jamee won the third #InvestinWomen virtual pitch competition securing another $100,000 investment for BridgeCare, a tremendous accomplishment.
“We’re thrilled to have found an investor in the Michelson 20MM Foundation that understands the critical role child care plays in making the workplace more equitable for women and in strengthening America’s families and the economy as a whole,” Jamee said. “At BridgeCare we’ve built a solution that is a win-win-win for employers, families, and child care providers, and we are excited to make it available to millions of people.”
Support for female founders has become a critical part of our decision-making as we expand the Michelson Impact portfolio. We’re looking forward to working with Jamee and her team in making BridgeCare a household name.