Dave Coffin headshotInnovator of the Week

Dave Coffin
Co-Founder & Developer of Cubby Notes

 

 

 

Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.

cubby notes logo

Cubby Notes provides modern communication tools for daycares, nannies and parents. We make caregivers’ jobs more efficient and give parents peace of mind.

We do that by providing daycares and nannies with amazing tools to track their kids’ daily activity and giving parents access in real time. Parents can message caregivers during the day, eliminating the need for phone calls. Caregivers can quickly and easily send photos of kids to their parents. Parents don’t have to wonder how their kids days are going anymore, Cubby Notes keeps them connected.

 

Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?

I started this company with my wife Jen, who also runs her family marketing business. Her business acumen is an invaluable asset, and we’ve really hit our stride as co-founders.

My background is in web application design and development, and it’s been a blast designing and creating an application that I as a parent benefit from immensely.

We are also proud to have been chosen to participate in the Alpha Loft’s AccelerateNH program, and so far it has helped us immensely, from answering the most basic questions of starting and running a business, to helping find answers to the hard questions too.

The Alpha Loft has been an incredible resource for us, from providing free workshops on topics related to starting a business, to always being available to ask any question I may have. The seacoast area is turning into a breeding ground for the entrepreneurial spirit, so it’s not hard to find experts in all sorts of topics who are all eager and happy to lend you their expertise.

 

What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?

Daycare worker using tablet to update Cubby Notes

Daycare worker using tablet to update Cubby Notes

We are parents and we built this business based on our experience in the childcare industry.

Our biggest challenge in creating this product was putting ourselves in the shoes of a childcare facility director. We tried to find which pain points they had and if solved, would also improve a parent’s experience.

We did a ton of research, talked to a lot of parents and childcare directors, and worked with some local childcare facilities very closely to determine what problems we could solve that would save the center money, improve teachers’ workflow, and give parents better access to the care their children were receiving.

 

What’s the best advice you have received?

We pivoted early on to narrow our focus on solving problems for childcare centers. We started out as a resource for parents to find good childcare but discovered that creating a business using that model was quite an uphill battle, and one we didn’t have the resources to fight.

Based on some advice from our advisors at Alpha Loft, we modified our focus to solving problems for childcare centers that would also improve the parents’ experience. They helped us fine tune our message (which is still a work in progress!), revamp our branding and put ourselves in a position where we can create a lasting business that solves a huge problem in a lot of people’s lives. Our product is focused and easy to understand, thanks to the feedback we solicited.

 

What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you? 

New Hampshire was a no brainer for us. We love the scenery, the climate, the beaches, everything. What surprised us about New Hampshire was the incredible amount of resources available to new entrepreneurs.

From resources at the business school at UNH where Jen attended, to the Alpha Loft, to investment firms that are as much advisors as they are investors. I can’t think of a better place to foster the growth of a new company.

 

What does the future look like for your company? 

Bright! The childcare industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country, and our product solves a major pain point. Those who are using it love it, and it’s almost an even bigger benefit for the parents. It’s a product that once you have it, you cannot live without it. We know from personal experience since our daughter’s daycare is using it!

 

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