Why Not Think Tank - Meeting #1

May 13, 2014

The WNTT kicked off its first meeting to introduce the core group of members to each other, and issue. The following two questions were posed - 'What do you do?' and 'Why do you think we've invited you to join this effort?' Co-founders Rachael and Leslie went on to identify the problem (American parents currently struggle to maintain both career and family / nobody cares to discuss or change that) and share what's been done in the past (history of past initiatives and landscape of current advocacy groups fighting this from their own angles.)  


Consensus reached: This is a problem that needs resolving and and issue that needs to be taken seriously.

Conclusions reached: This effort is not to be identified or handled as a woman's-only dilemma (so as not to be relegated to the 'mommy-problem' category, or dismissed as something that only affects the educated professional.) Gender neutrality to be encouraged. Male members to be included.

Why Not Think Tank - Meeting #2

June 25, 2014

The WNTT kicked off its second meeting to discuss the "Shape of Things to Come" (Three stage campaign aimed to start a conversation about, educate and rally support for people with family responsibilities in the workplace,) newly launched WNTT website and 'more progressive workplace'. Brainstormed aims/objectives of more progressive workplace.   

Consensus reached: We need task team pairings to spearhead the various initiatives/ideas identified to-date (selected of those who expressed an interest in the different initiatives discussed.) Those pairs will investigate and explore between now and next meeting, reporting findings back to the group.

Conclusions reached; WNTT needs to find a funding source. WNTT agreed-upon aim/objectives of more progressive workplace to go on website. WNTT website to serve as official hub, and a place to which others can be referred.

Why Not Think Tank - Meeting #3

January 05, 2015

With the specific aim to meet the primary goal of the group (create a more progressive workplace,) WNTT co-founders Rachael Ellison and Leslie Ali Walker decided to dedicate January and February toward exploring a tech-led solution to solve the social problem identified by the group - lack of support for working mothers/parents in the workplace.

Their two-prong approach included investing the time to a.) further brainstorm and develop the right kind of VC-sponsored venture to support working parents (as suggested by Loos Cutraro in 2014) - a business venture designed specifically to develop, support and fund any number of working parent products and platforms - and b.) develop a plan to approach and recruit supporting investors and benefactors with compatible pro-social goals and general value alignment.

Founding WNTT member Erin Loo Cutraro joined co-founders Leslie Ali and Rachael Ellison in this first WNTT task team formed to advance the WNTT’s cause - a task team that would be taking time out of their jobs and lives to do what was necessary to

The task team decided to take it upon themselves to  brainstorm and develop the needed start-up required to meet the first goal in the WNTTs greater ambition and business plan to ultimately set up an incubator to create more working-parent support systems.

Consensus reached: January would be spent researching incubators and accelerators.  

Conclusions drawn: To continue dedicating 100% of the team’s time to make this initiative happen, the task team would need to develop a for-profit incubator. Researching incubators and accelerators would give the task team a better understanding of the investment required to get this venture off the ground / what kind of financial commitment to ask potential investors.

Why Not Think Tank - Meeting #4

February 07, 2015

Upon further research of incubators and accelerators, the task team developing the incubator initiative (WNTT Co-founders Leslie Ali and Rachael Ellison, and founding member, Erin Loos Cutraro) learned that setting up and fund-raising for an incubator would require some start-up expertise to foster confidence in their ability. The team decided to go to Menlo Park and San Francisco on an exploratory mission to pitch the concept, meet and seek advice from tech entrepreneurs and potential investors on how best to develop their startup (an app to support working parents called NEED/DONE.)

Upon hearing the news, NPR’s podcast, New Tech City, approached and asked Rachael and Leslie if they’d consider covering an audio diary of their exploratory trip (to potentially include in a New Tech City podcast episode.) Of particular interest was the WNTT-inspired mission - solving a big social problem (getting more women in positions of power and influence in the workforce) with technology.

Consensus reached: Rachael and Leslie agreed to cover their trip for potential NPR coverage of WNTT initiative. This would include a daily recording to gauge mood and/progress, as well as other interviews of other people in this space if the opportunity presented itself.

Conclusions reached: Rachael and Leslie would need to develop the idea, a pitch deck, as well as build a demo of the app before leaving for San Francisco.

Why Not Think Tank - Meeting #5

March 27, 2015

Upon their return, WNTT co-founders Leslie and Rachael re-assembled the group to offer an update on the exploratory mission and outlined most helpful Silicon Valley findings. Main points included the need to further develop and finesse NEED-DONE app’s basic functionality, stress-test the product design / its user interface, and develop a plan to conduct a pilot program in the local area before building the MVP (first phase prototype.)

As all WNTTers present fell into the target demographic category (working mothers) Rachael Ellison engaged the group in a recommended product design exercise designed to explore how best to serve the target’s needs. WNTTer Margaret Kudumula identified a need to overlap partner and user “chore” calendar as well, WNTTer Jaclyn De La Rosa volunteered to explore the meal prep and planning support for the pilot.

Consensus reached: Planning the pilot and researching seed funding sources would be the top monthly priority.

Conclusions reached: WNTTers Margaret Kudumala and Jaclyn Delarosa would meet during the month to discuss how best to contribute and help develop the above.