Geta Rasciuc founder of BabyMoon, is from Republic of Moldova. She was champion of Get in The Ring Eastern Europe in 2014 ( one of the eight global finalists), participated at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) delegate in 2015 and Creative Business Cup vice champion in 2016. In 2019 she was present at GES as a representative of both Moldova and Netherlands.
GEN Moldova: Introduce yourself.
Geta Rasciuc (Geta): “My name it’s Geta Rasciuc, I’m founder and CEO of BabyMoon. We are working on developing smart ergonomic baby carriers that would contribute to implementing attachment parenting techniques, while measuring the children’s vital signs. We’re putting babies in their parents’ arms, while also analyzing them.”
How and when did you start your business?
Geta: “It’s a long story. 11 years ago, when I had my first born, I started my baby carrier business. At that time my oldest was only 6 months old. But long story short: in the 11 years that I have worked with parents and hospitals, I saw the need for improving attachment parenting techniques, especially from early on, inside the maternity wards. I saw the need for more data about children outside the hospital or other patients that need to be monitored. That idea came to me in early 2016. It took about 3 months of R&D, developing technical components (sensors, devices, textile sensing technologies) and then we designed it and we started working. In the first months after September we managed to get into the Digital Health Accelerator in the Netherlands. We registered as a Dutch company and now we are working on hardware development. Things are looking pretty well. We are fundraising at the moment, to obtain the means to support increasing babies’ survival rates and to diminish mortality rates among them.”
The innovation of my product is...
Geta: “First, we use the latest technologies in electronics and textiles. Another big component of our business is the fact that a baby carrier promotes secure attachment between parents and baby. Especially when children get sent to day care very early. Basically, it promotes closer interaction between the two generations in this relationship and creates a better understanding of each other. Particularly with regard to health, knowing that you have quality, easy, accessible reports on the health status of your child is a useful tool for parents, but also for health professionals. So basically, we get all these groups of people to communicate for the most efficient healthcare and health decisions and a better life for the next generation.”
How do you protect your innovations?
Geta: “We are now patent pending, we filed for our patent. Our patent has three components: one is for the textile pattern that we use, because we have an in-house patent on the pattern for the baby carrier. The next part is for data points and the algorithms that we use for data analytics. The third part is the circuitry mapping, because that is also something that we develop in-house. We have a three-fold intellectual property component, but because the patents are public documents for further protection, they are intentionally broader and then the super-secret recipe is kept confidential.”
Please tell me more about your market
Geta: “We focus on both the B2B and the B2C market, but before we get to that stage, we go to the consumer market, which is a tricky target audience in some ways. Given that we have the baby carrier consulting community, the baby carrier alliance, influencers in the parenting groups are our supporters, we are continuously growing our network of supporters among buyers and users of the product. We also keep and update our social media presence. On Instagram we have around 1,000 followers, then a couple hundred of people on our mailing list, but the community that we connect to, which I manage amounts to approximately 50,000 followers, mainly from Eastern Europe, Moldova and some worldwide, through diasporas. The “Mamici Fermecate” community uses the Romanian language, for now.”
How did your business evolve?
Geta: “The evolution of the business was quite rapid: having come up with the idea in March of 2016, in October we tested the first prototype, in less than one month we went to another country, we were selected to the Rockstart Accelerator. All this was happening really, really fast. After nine months at the Accelerator, it took a while to get back on our feet. It was not a break, because we were constantly working. At the moment we had to set the direction and decide where we were going and how things were developing. So now I’m happy that we are in a steadier phase, going step by step, instead of that crazy speed, which was really uncomfortable”
Why do you continue to be an entrepreneur? What motivates you?
Geta: “I don’t know. I guess I’m crazy. But seriously, the thing is that even before those smart carriers I tried to quit, but apparently it doesn’t work for me. I believe it’s important and there is a pull from parents and supporters. So I can’t disappoint those children and parents that support us and demand from us that we give them an incredible baby hugging experience. After 10 years of working in a non-office environment, spending nine months in an office, during the Accelerator, I realized that I liked the flexibility of being an entrepreneur and having your own schedule. Also, I have my own personal motivation, being a role model for my kids to grow and live by. Meaning that you should be responsible for what you do and do your own thing and create stuff that’s important and has an impact on lives and helps people. Being an example for my children makes me want to constantly grow and be the best version of myself, not just this weird mum that walks around telling everyone to make their beds.”
What were your major struggles?
Geta: “Funding is a big issue, but it’s something that all start-ups have in common. Well, for us it’s a little more complicated, because even if I’ve been here for one year, I’m still out of my typical environment, so I’m still exploring the landscape of the Dutch funding opportunities. And because BabyMoon does something that is in a grey area: we overlap with the fields of fashion, health tech and social impact venture it’s also a big issue that involves a lot of different aspects from different markets and areas. It makes you explore even more topics. But we are managing it.”
What are your biggest challenges?
Geta: “Finding the right people for our team. It gets quite overwhelming with the considerable amount of work to be done. Also, having 4 kids now, I have to juggle the kids (13, 11, 9 and 2 years old), plus the start-up, plus the funding. The youngest one is chief executive baby. He came with me to pitch for funding and it was really funny, because banking people are not used to dealing with babies.”
Share some lessons learned growing your business
Geta: “Not sure, I’m not done with my entrepreneurial journey. The most important thing is to keep focusing on that point, on the horizon. That’s a skill to develop. Because when you know where you are going, situations go by, good or bad. You know where you want to get and it’s much easier. Also, you need to be flexible, to be ready to adapt at any moment.
At the same time you have to think: Are you building a start-up or are you building a business? I prefer to think that I’m building a business that’s in a start-up phase, rather than jumping from one idea to another. I don’t think that there is a lot of long term thinking in start-ups.”
Where do you see your BabyMoon in the future?
Geta: “We plan to take over the world, but it will take some time. However, if we are talking about 5 years from now, I hope we will have all the certifications that we need. We will have established the distribution network. Also, I am hopeful we will get the certifications, and our product will be used from day one and will save lives due to kangaroo care, as it was initially envisioned.”