Startup acts as data-driven assistant for working professionals
There’s your career, and there’s your family. For many working parents, maintaining the delicate work/life balance often results in a decision between the two — and for some, pausing an exciting career is the only option. Columbus-based Speedwell + Yarrow figured there had to be another way, so they set out to create a service that helps busy professionals manage their family while staying on track in their careers.
“We pair data science with a team of experts to streamline the administrative tasks of running a household,” said co-founder Ashley Lambrix. “We give working parents the leverage they need to have successful careers while managing busy families. Rather than watching parents leave the workforce, our approach offers employers an innovative way to attract and retain this valuable talent.”
Instead of having to remember to drive Joey to music lessons and Anna to space camp, Speedwell + Yarrow is designed to act as a companion for high-growth executives who see their careers heating up at the same time as their family life. Everything from special events and meal planning to digitizing the school’s calendar is researched and discussed through a monthly, agenda-driven phone call. From there, Speedwell + Yarrow’s recommendations are communicated on the individual’s private portal. Reminders and top-of-mind information are handled by text for working parents who are on the go. Named after two plants that help each other grow, Speedwell + Yarrow’s focus is replicating that relationship with their clients.
“I think a lot of working families really struggle to get dinner on the table,” said Lambrix. “For many, that’s an important time to reconnect. So, for members who are interested in the meal planning portion of our service, we work to come up with options that meet the dietary and time needs of our clients. Our goal is to really get to know our customers and their preferences by acting as a modern version of a personal assistant.”
Speedwell + Yarrow’s service isn’t just catching the eye of the employers of busy parents, either. As one of 10 companies in the United States and the only from Ohio, Speedwell + Yarrow clinched a rare spot in the Techstars Anywhere 2019 cohort. Additional mentorship from Rev1Ventures, a partner of Ohio Third Frontier, will allow them to focus on growth and development.
“We’ve gotten a lot of help from businesses and mentors like Rev1” said Lambrix. “The local support is a great complement to being part of Techstars. As working mothers in dual-career households with young kids at home, the ability to relocate for months at a time to participate in Techstars was out of the question. For us, being able to participate in the Anywhere program has been amazing.”
Lambrix and co-founder Lindsey Michaelides are looking to the future and keeping an eye on their options. One thing they’ve considered is expanding their services to fit the needs of a variety of working families.
“We love getting to know our end-users and figuring out what is going to meet their needs, whether that’s an amazing gift for their child’s birthday or helping parents plan a night out with their spouse,” said Lambrix. “Right now, we’re focused on rising leaders in organizations who might be at risk of leaving, but we’re excited about the opportunity to evolve the service to meet the needs of any number of family lifestyles.”