Growing up with a mum who is a midwife opened Kahleea’s eyes to the hours of administration that a midwifery career entails. By observing her mother’s work lifestyle and always thinking that there must be a better away, Trimester Tracker was born. The workflow management tool is designed for midwives to reduce their admin time and focus their attention back into the community. After completing the Innovation Accelerator at Ara Institute of Canterbury (Ara), Kahleea is now working towards getting Trimester Tracker into the commercial market.
How did you get your idea off the ground?
I’d been living in London and flew back home to Christchurch just before the country went into its first lockdown in April 2020. The idea had been in my mind for a while and I saw that Ara offered Business and Innovation Accelerator courses. It was the perfect opportunity for me to learn new skills and was just what my idea needed, as I didn’t really know where to start. So I signed up to the 12 week Innovation Accelerator.
How did the course help Trimester Tracker grow from an initial idea?
I was so excited about the idea and I wanted to run before I could walk! But Jacob Varghese (Ara tutor and Ministry of Awesome, Head of Innovation) pulled me way back to the basics and asked questions I hadn’t even considered “What’s your value proposition?” “Do you have a viable business model?” Who else will it affect in the ecosystem? It’s not just going to be the midwives, what about the hospital staff, and the patients? He really got me diving deep into all of that. Jacob was a great tutor and I had access to resources that I didn’t even know existed.
There are other students there and we’re all on the same journey, exploring different ideas. We share thoughts, challenge each other and it drove different ways of thinking because you can get stuck in a rut with your ideas sometimes. Plus, it’s a safe space where you could work things out in person and without judgement.
How has Christchurch contributed to Trimester Tracker’s growth?
Christchurch has an amazing start-up community which even helped me grow out of the classroom. Everyone is so supportive and they really challenge you to think outside the square and push your ideas. There is a great sense of community and collaboration in Christchurch – it’s not ‘I’m not telling you anything because I don’t want you to compromise my idea”, instead it’s “how can I help, what do you need, have you thought about this?”
How does the Innovation Accelerator and Christchurch continue to support you?
Everything I do with Trimester Tracker now links back to what I learnt on the accelerator and within the startup community. I gained specific skills relevant to my idea – it wasn’t a generic class with a rough overview and I use my knowledge and skills that I learnt on the course every single day. For example, what I learnt about business modelling is now a major part of the pre-pitch I’m currently writing to attract investors.
What impact is Trimester Tracker going to make and where do you want to take it?
The next stage for me is securing funding so I can make this a viable commercial product, get it out into the market and help midwives all around the world save time on admin. Currently, midwives are losing 90 days a year. 90!
There’s honestly no way I’d be where I am now without the Ara Innovation Accelerator and the Christchurch startup community.