Women in Tech: Amber Vodegel
Hi Amber, tell us about the lady behind the brand.
I co-founded Health and Parenting Ltd, which creates apps for pregnant women and parents with young children, with my husband in 2012.
Our company has become quite successful: our original app Pregnancy+ is one of the most popular pregnancy app in the world with over 12m downloads since launch. We have also added two more products to our portfolio, Baby+ to track baby’s first year, and Baby Names Genius, an AI-driven app to select baby names.
What were you doing before you decided to create Health and Parenting?
I worked as a strategy director at a digital advertising agency. I managed large social media campaigns for international brands like Heineken, Zynga, and Reckitt Benckiser. I also helped various Apps reach the number one position in their category, almost from when the iTunes App Store was launched.
Getting involved in Tech is still a new thing for women, what was the motivation for you?
I always wanted to be involved in an emerging, growing market, so our timing to start an app-based business was perfect. I discovered early on that you don’t need to be a technical genius yourself to run a tech company. As long as you understand the basics you can almost do anything. Inevitably there were will be gaps in your knowledge, but I have found that asking questions and hiring the right skills will quickly bridge those gaps.
How have you found your journey so far and what has been your greatest accomplishment?
The pregnancy app market is very crowded with more than 2,000 apps available. Yet, we have managed to secure the number one position for Pregnancy+. We achieved that by making the app available to as many women as possible: the app has been translated into seven languages and is now used by women across the world. In fact, we reach 45% of all pregnant in the UK, 46% in Germany, 35% in France and 21% in the US. To know that we are helping so many women manage their pregnancies is incredible.
On a personal career level, I was shortlisted in the 2016 NatWest everywoman Awards, which I am very proud of.
What has been the most challenging thing so far?
Staying focused on the most important business goals and not getting side-tracked has been the biggest challenge by far. When you are the one making the decisions it’s easy to get distracted by the latest developments or trends. The tech sector in particular has a constant flow of new opportunities, but the trick is to be able to filter out the really great ones.
Do you think more women should get involved in Tech and why?
Absolutely! Half of all the users of technology products and websites are women. Technology companies could benefit from employing women in leading positions to gain a better understanding of their needs and perspectives. This can only lead to well thought-out products and services, better-performing teams and help the tech industry thrive even more.
What advice would you give to young female entrepreneurs who are stuck on an idea?
Focus on quality and ethics. Never compromise on quality as it will make or break an idea. The same goes for ethics, which should be part of the corporate backbone of any organisation. Good moral principles should guide your approach to your product and general business dealings. If you can’t stay true to this then you’ll never be truly happy with it, which will be noticed by your customers or users.
If you are stuck on an idea then talk to other entrepreneurs that have gone before you. They’ll be happy to answer your questions and you can learn tonnes from them. It also important to stay connected especially with the tech sector constantly changing.
What does it mean to be a female tech entrepreneur?
The most rewarding thing about being a female tech entrepreneur is the ability to apply technology to everyday life in order to build a better world.
We have millions of pregnant mums who use our app nearly every day, and helping them enjoy their beautiful journey to parenthood is very rewarding.
Overview of how Health and Parenting works:
Health & Parenting is an independent developer of healthcare and family-related mobile applications guiding users through pregnancy and early parenthood. The portfolio includes Pregnancy+, Baby+ and Baby Names Genius, all which can be downloaded here: www.healthandparenting.com
How to find Health and Parenting: