Your Name and Age: Yasmine Mahmoudieh, 47
Tell us about your family: My father is Persian, my mother German. Both were entrepreneurs.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
I had an international, award winning architecture and design company. I started my first office in LA when I was 26 years old and have never worked for someone else. I then had four offices in Europe including London. I designed many landmark hotels around the world, shopping centres, office buildings, museums etc.
When did you launch?
I launched officially on November 23rd last year which coincided with an article in the Times article but have worked on developing the concept and website since 2012
How did you get started?
I had the problem myself – as an entrepreneurial mother, trying to source the best after school classes or holiday activities for my kids was always a huge problem and so wanted to solve it by creating the biggest marketplace in the world to source and book kids activities for their out-of-school time.
Everything! I have always run my own business. I see a lot of synergy and parallels with my design company. I always worked with technology to get my ideas in design and architecture built, we have been working with CAD design since it existed and combined creativity with Technology, very similar to mykidsy.
What’s the thing you least enjoy about running your own business?
Having to look for funding for mykidsy as my design company never needed a single loan and from day one made money.
What has worked well about your business?
I am very pleased on all aspects since the support and reinforcement is amazing and the interest overwhelming,
What’s been your biggest business mistake? How did you deal with it?
I had heard how difficult it is to find good developers but still underestimated it and this took me a lot longer than anticipated
How do you fit in work with the family? Is your partner supportive of your business?
The only way for me was to get my kids involved. Since I work in the kids space, I share a lot with them and try a lot new things out with them, which is great. I was very successful with my Design company but unfortunately, at the end, it did effect my marriage. I separated from their father and so at the moment, concentrate on my kids and my work.
Are you working towards a financial goal for your business?
Yes I want to make a profit of £40m in 2018 and believe this is very conservative. However, I am more driven by passion than by money and am not worried as believe that the money will follow.
Never! I love it as much as I loved design and architecture before, which I also still love.
Do you have an exit strategy?
I do not want to exit but understand that investors want to. However, great examples show how founders stay on even if they float. I can imagine be partly sold, since my vision is big for mykidsy beyond the activities portal.
Have you had your ‘I’ve made it’ moment? Tell us about it. If not when do you think it will come.
I have had many ‘I have made it’ moments on my Design career, having had almost every project win an award. My projects were not only published a lot but also were always very financially rewarding for my clients and myself. In terms of myKidsy, I also have had my ‘made it moment’ when I recently signed up Stagecoach (The largest UK network of part-time performing arts schools for 4-18 year olds) and other event providers to make it possible to book their events through our site. Also some amazingly successful investors have told me how they believe in my vision having kids themselves and understanding the huge need for what I offer to solve their problems.
Where do you hope to be in five years time?
I want to have had a positive impact on children’s life, engaging them in creative and meaningful after school activities. I believe that at the same time we will have achieved huge financial success with a value of $1bn. We want to be the number one platform wherever we go to source and book the best kids activities. I want to have the best brand for children’s activities, services and products in the world. But only good ones!
If you have a flexible working business opportunity, please explain briefly what you offer and how people find out more.
I am currently looking for a lot of support. I need a really good PA intern, a savvy marketing / social media intern and one to grow our coding classes, a COO that would be able to come over once I have got my round of major funding I am going for right now and also a product and marketing expert and a CTO that I would give shares of the company to. Openings for interns are also in data analysis, sales and PR. I would be interested in mentors for finance and the fund raising rounds.
Your website link: www.mykidsy.com