MyVillage raised a $5.95 million seed round to address the national childcare crunch. Founder and CEO Erica Mackey sees incredible potential in growing the company from Bozeman, Montana.
Creating high-impact ventures with a human focus.
Erica has always had an entrepreneur’s problem-solving mindset. Since childhood she’s been interested in getting to the ‘why’ of complex systems, and believed that the way it is isn’t the way it needs to be. Her first social impact venture, Zola Electric, was the world’s first massively scalable renewable energy company and brought affordable, reliable solar power to over 1 million homes in Africa. She spent five years in Tanzania guiding the company’s meteoric growth, and raised $250 million from investors like Tesla and General Electric.
After she and her husband had their first child in 2016 they moved back to the States and experienced firsthand the challenge of finding affordable, high-quality childcare. Many of the private preschools she spoke to said they never had any openings available because parents would put their children on waiting lists years in advance. Confusing regulations and the lack of business guidance for providers made quality in-home daycare options few and far between.
As a mother, Erica was frustrated. As an entrepreneur she saw a great opportunity to solve a problem and create economic growth.
Raising a record-breaking seed round and building a national business in Montana.
The challenge of finding childcare spurred the creation of MyVillage, creating a new model to expand the national childcare network by giving providers everything they need to run an exceptional home-based childcare and preschool business.
In 2017, Erica set out on a road trip with her husband and their young daughter to find the perfect spot to call home and start the new venture. Erica’s husband, Morgan, wanted access to the mountains and hunting. Erica wanted a thriving business scene and a great place to raise kids. Bozeman, Montana surprised them both by offering incredible outdoor recreation access, a tight-knit community, and a startup ecosystem attracting world-class talent and capital investment.
Erica and her co-founder, Elizabeth Szymanski, chose to focus MyVillage’s initial launch in Montana and Colorado, and have already brought 40 new childcare providers on board. Their Bozeman office is now home to a team of education experts, marketing leaders, and community managers - as well as the an onsite MyVillage daycare called The Sandbox.
In April, MyVillage announced it had closed on a $5.95 million seed round - the largest in Montana history.
Set to scale - going from 40 schools to 200 in 2019.
The past two years have been focused on building a strong foundation for MyVillage. The next year will be all about building out the national network of childcare providers ready to open their doors and relieve pressure for families currently on waiting lists. Erica and her team plan to grow from from 40 schools to 200 over the next year, targeting key markets in Montana and Colorado.
With no shortage of childcare needs on the horizon, it’s clear MyVillage is poised to grow its market and Montana’s tech scene.