Lisa Caruso and Krista Teare, Co-Founders of the Toddler Monitor which is a cute and friendly motion sensor device that hangs on a doorknob and alerts parents (via an app) if their toddler or kid leaves their bedroom or safe space. It gives parents the peace of mind knowing that they will be alerted if their toddler is on the move and in potential danger. It raised a lot of money via crowd funding online when it first began.
Lisa Caruso was a Management Consultant with experience in an assortment of enterprises and corporate capacities. Residing in Calgary, AB, Lisa focused her consulting efforts within the oil and gas industry and has experience in mining, banking, government and non-profit. Her functional experience includes operations, finance & accounting, IT, and human resources. She also has extensive experience in project management and change management as they relate to large ERP system implementations. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge, and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. She is also formally trained in business transformation, Lean Business Process Improvement, Behavioral Change Management, and facilitation.
Krista Teare was a Management Consultant based in Calgary with Lumina Management Consultants. Krista has worked at a multi-national Management Consultancy, start-up organizations, large corporations and specializes in Change Management, Project Advisory, Operating Models, System Implementation (ERP, HRIS, EH&S), Process Improvement, Change Management and Communications. Krista is also an entrepreneur and successfully co-founded a company focused on a technology product for families in 2016. Krista has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary. She is also a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP).
Both Lisa and Krista began their consulting careers at large, global consulting firms (KPMG and Deloitte) and have since made the move to Lumina Management consulting, a boutique Oil and Gas consulting firm in Calgary, AB. Not only are these young women best friends, they are also Joint Venture partners at Lumina Management Consulting and now, Co-founders and business partners in Toddler Monitor.
6. Accomplishments over the years:
The word success means something different to everyone. “Success to one could mean having a healthy, loving family, whereas success to another could mean making a million dollars.”
They would love to ‘toot their own horns’ and say that they have achieved great success in their 30’s. They are very proud of themselves as they have focused and accomplished a lot upon both the things on the family front and career front.
In addition to Lisa’s successful consulting career, she is proud of the work she has done both locally in Calgary, Canada as well as in Tanzania, Africa. Lisa is a board member on Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank, a Calgary based organization that focuses on providing sporting equipment at no cost to those kids who would otherwise be denied the opportunity to participate. Each year, the organization suits up thousands of kids who then take part in a variety of different sports. Over 8 years ago, Lisa and her mom started an orphanage in Africa which has since morphed into a volunteer organization that focuses on raising money and developing projects that positively impact the youth of Tanzania through a safe place to live and education.
Similarly, Krista had a successful consulting career in Calgary, but she defines her success by her years of involvement with her friends, family and community. The relationships in her life are what she is most proud of. Being a willing ear and a support for the people around her doesn’t fit well on a resume or list of accomplishments but it is what she sees as her greatest accomplishment in her life.
They both agree that they have leveraged everything that they have learned in their consulting careers and applied it to what they like to call “one big-ass project”. Their goal from day one was simple: create an unreal product, get it to market as quick as possible, and spend as little money as possible. They can say that they have been successful to date as they have learned so much about what it takes to build a product and smartphone app. They both agree that, “Going forward, even if we don’t make a penny, this experience has been a huge success.”
5. Uniqueness about the product:
Toddler Monitor is truly one of a kind! It is the very first child safety motion sensor that you hang on a child’s bedroom door and control 100% from a smartphone. If you Googled “Toddler Monitor” a year ago, nothing would come up other than the odd baby monitor. Try Googling “Toddler Monitor” today. In the past year, both Lisa and Krista have created a new category of child safety product and their name is synonymous with that market: Toddler Monitor.
4. Overcoming tragedies:
“You do learn to be resilient and find ways to deal with less than perfect circumstances. This makes you stronger as people and as business owners and entrepreneurs.”
Lisa lost her dad due to cancer three years ago. She struggled a lot with this fact that he is no more. He was not only her father but was an extremely smart and successful leader both professionally and personally. Her dad was an entrepreneur at heart.
Krista and Lisa always say, maybe Toddler Monitor is a thing we do forever and maybe it evolves into something else, but being entrepreneurial is definitely a part of their future path. Their journey not only fills their need to learn and continually be challenged, it also keeps them feeling connected to their “pops” which they totally love.
3. Goals for the future:
Their goal is to challenge people. They are very thankful regarding those people who have been very supportive throughout to them. They hope that they will be able to do the vice versa one day and will defiantly contribute to other entrepreneurs’ journeys. They do have plans for future products within the Toddler Monitor family as well as other products for the aging population.
2. Words of wisdom:
According to both Lisa and Krista:
Take the leap and then take it one step at a time. Be resourceful and use your network. People want to help and talk about what they know so just ask them. Do it yourself. There are so many tools including kickstarter, website tools, social media, etc that enable you to start a company with very little financial investment. The applications are a crazy amount of work but the support can be invaluable. Negotiate. Negotiate. Negotiate. Seriously. Be relentless. There will be times when you want to quit – DON’T! You need to be able to have tough conversations and move on. And most importantly, you need to have fun with this person as you are going to spend a lot (like, a lot) of time with them.
1. Product making the world a better place today:
Walking around the house and waking up / night-walking can be a challenge for children and there is lots of stories about kids getting out of their rooms at night. Some parents use locks on the door to solve this problem. But Lisa and Krista wanted to be able to manage this in another way and give parents another option because they believe parenting is about making the best choices for your family. These little milestones are huge for these families and for them as well. So, stay tuned as they have lots more to come with the cute & fun Toddler Monitor, that kids love too!
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Article by Born Realist