Kildare business Babogue is helping 3,000 families in 33 countries who are struggling with their children’s sleep.
A child’s sleep is a subject matter close to every parent’s heart. With their own young families, Babogue founders Erica Hargaden and Janet Creighton have decided to focus on the area of sleep health to help parents and their children get the rest they all deserve.
The consultancy and support service offers a suite of services for parents struggling with their children’s sleep.
“Currently we have six programmes supporting parents from birth to 10 years of age including modules to support twins and multiples sleep”
It is a global problem says Hargaden. “There are 140m babies born globally each year and the American Academy of Paediatrics estimates that 25-50% of these children will experience sleep difficulties. It is also estimated that the global sleep economy will be worth €460bn by 2024 with €30bn to €40bn of this related to ‘sleep-health’ including the Sleep Consultancy Industry.
“Our current accessible market is Ireland and the UK which have a combined birth rate of close to 800,000 babies per year. Ultimately the problem is where you have children who are not sleeping this leads to parents not sleeping either. This in turn creates tired, frustrated and overwhelmed parents who need solutions & support to understand and solve their children’s sleep challenges.”
To help solve these challenges, Babogue is a digital child sleep consultancy service that offers a suite of online sleep programmes called the Sleep Series to families who are struggling with their children’s sleep.
“Currently we have six programmes supporting parents from birth to 10 years of age including modules to support twins and multiples sleep.
“Each program includes up to 2.5 hours of comprehensive video content that educate and support families in solving their sleep challenges. Parents using these programmes can also avail of expert led support through a private community. These programmes were launched in November 2019 and are being used by 3,000 families in 33 countries.”
A parent’s instinct
Babogue was co-founded by Erica Hargaden and Janet Creighton who have worked together for more than 12 years.
Combined this team has over 20 years management, sales and marketing experience, managing accounts of 6m plus.
Erica is a mum of three and Janet is mum to twin boys.
“We have both experienced first-hand the impact of sleep deprivation as a result of children not sleeping and the lack of information available to not only educate but support parents who are struggling,” says Hargaden.
“When the idea for Babogue came we both knew we needed to take it forward so that less and less parents would struggle like we did.”
A hard day’s night
She believes the local start-up ecosystem is full of potential and backed by great supports.
“We are based in Naas, Co Kildare, and are very lucky to have an incredible start up ecosystem on our doorstep. Our first step was to approach our Local Enterprise Office to see what supports they could provide us. Jackie McNabb and her team have been instrumental in bringing Babogue to where it is now.
“From there we have progressed forward into Enterprise Ireland. This is like taking steps on a ladder and the first step is to apply for New Frontiers. We have completed 3 phases of that program which really set us up for our Competitive Start Fund application. This was successful and now we have the support of Enterprise Ireland to grow our business strategically and globally.
“We have also engaged with organisations like ACORNS that support female entrepreneurs in rural locations and of course the female led Network Ireland under which we won the category of best Emerging New Business 2021. We recently moved our offices to the MERITS building in Naas, Co Kildare. This is a coworking space that is dedicated to support digital and tech start-ups, budding entrepreneurs and businesses in the mid-east region of Ireland.”
Hargarden said Babogue received supports from Enterprise Ireland to complete key projects.
“Once these have been completed we will be looking to the next stage of business development that will require a funding round.”
From starting to scaling
The difference between starting and scaling, she believes is mindset. “A key lesson or piece of advice we would give is that in order to scale the business you have to step out of working in the business to working on the business. This is something that every start up goes through. But, once you make that move you will be able to scale and grow. This boils down to tapping into and researching the supports to allow you to do this. Your Local Enterprise Office is a great place to start.”
The young business makes use of a variety of digital tools to keep it agile. “We try to keep ourselves pretty lean and we are a small team so using free and affordable applications to support the business are key to Babogue. Applications like Trello keep us engaged together on key projects. ContentCal helps us to schedule our social media – which is an integral part of our business. Canva allows us to communicate our brand effectively. Our website www.babogue.com is our shop front and our service providers that support us in keeping that functioning and performing efficiently are integral to the business.”
Her advice to fellow founders is to ensure they use all supports that are available to them. “Support and opportunities do not fall in your lap. You have to look for them, put yourself out there. You have to go through the process of networking, application forms, pitching, making phone calls, getting rejected, disappointment, hard work abd long hours to eventually getting to where you want to be. Yes, its daunting but it is worth every minute you spend on it.”
Main image: Babogue co-founders Erica Hargaden and Janet Creighton