It’s been an active first nine months for #Angels, and we are eager to tell you about more of the companies we’ve backed. One such company is Jewelbots, co-founded by Sara Chipps and Brooke Moreland. Sara, the CEO of Jewelbots, is a software developer with a long career that includes cofounding the non-profit Girl Develop It and being CTO of the millennial networking site Levo League. Jewelbots is working on wearable technology for the tween and teen girl segment, introducing young women to the power of programming bracelets tricked out with LEDS with a mobile app as well as an API. Think Apple Watch plus friendship bracelet for kids.
Sample use cases include: the bracelets reacting to friends when they are nearby, enabling them to send secret messages; using the device to send a message to their parent when they are feeling unsafe; or getting a custom LED notification if they get a new follower on social media. Their mission is compelling, but it takes more than passion to tackle a hardware product aimed at an audience which is inundated with consumer products and messages that engineering and computer science are for boys.
Enter Sara and her team, who have taken an impressively thorough approach to understanding their customers to overcome these challenges. Rather than relying on intuition alone, they’ve conducted extensive user research with young girls to get their feedback on everything: the form factors of the bracelet, the social dynamics of girls in their target age range, and how adjacent groups like school teachers respond to the product’s presence in their classrooms.
Sara’s thirst to get their product in the hands of the girls they wish to reach is palpable, as is her fascination for the craft of making a great product. Every time we see Sara, she has the latest prototypes tucked in her bag and is eager to show them off, how they’ve improved, and the latest technical challenges they’ve surmounted. Sara’s clarity of mission, quality of team, and work ethic caught our attention, and April Underwood and Vijaya Gadde are proud investors.
Keep an eye out for Jewelbots as they ship their first units this Spring.