Young families and young startups: can it be done?

A growing company requires love, total dedication, constant attention, and on occasion - sleep deprivation. But what happens when the same is also expected of you as a parent?

In partnership with 50inTech, we invited five incredible founders to have a no-holds-barred discussion about the realities of managing young families and growing a startup.

We had first spoken to Marie Outtier, founder of, earlier in the year, about how best to promote positive narratives reconciling parenthood and entrepreneurialism. Together, we wanted to provide a forum for current and potential entrepreneurs to ask the tough questions, get practical advice for their personal lives and best practices for their workplaces.

Balderton Capital's Laura Connell with 50inTech Founder, Caroline Ramade

Brilliantly moderated by TechCrunch's Editor-at-Large, Mike Butcher, these five founders (Marie Outtier @, Helene Guillaume @, Chris Morton @ Lyst, Matt Wiggins @ Mojiworks and Pip Jamieson @ The Dots) laid it all bare. We couldn't have hoped for a more candid and constructive conversation.

Our five founders explore the conflicting demands of family and startups

Some of the great takeaways for the founders included

  • Marie Outtier, Founder and CEO of - on fundraising while pregnant: it can be done (Marie did this while 6 months pregnant) and investors should treat this as a powerful signal of how committed to the business these founders are.
  • Matt Wiggins, Founder and CEO of Mojiworks - on managing your personal relationships and building a diverse business: it's critical to communicate stress and make your partner and children feel included in your work. Diversity is the key to sustainability.
  • Helene Guillaume, Founder and CEO of WILD.AI - on fearlessness and promoting equal parental leave: female founders need not self-select out of having a family and a startup. It is crucial to ensure parental leave is equally available to (if not compulsory for!) both men and women.
  • Chris Morton, Founder and CEO of Lyst - on creating balance in your life and your couple: life and running a startup is a marathon, not a sprint, and burnout happens if you're sacrificing things that matter to you. You need to remember to put the pieces in place for a fulfilling personal and professional life for both you and your partner.
  • Pip Jamieson, Founder and CEO of The Dots - on planning for a family and IVF: being an entrepreneur or mother is not a binary choice: there are a multitude of ways to make being an entrepreneur and mother work with your goals and timings.

We also had brilliant participation from the audience with narratives shared about being single parents (fathers and mothers) and entrepreneurs as well as difficult questions asked about the reality of trying to make it all happen at once.

This event was hugely oversubscribed so apologies to all who weren't able to get a spot. We'll be doing many more of these so keep your eyes peeled for announcements in the newsletter. You can sign up here.  

Huge thanks to @50inTech, @MikeButcher and the five founders who made this event possible.

To find out more about what was said - you can read Marie’s great post on the event here and Caroline's transcript of the panel here

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