Interview with Ben Prouty, Co-founder at Child Education App Poncho

As featured in Techround

Poncho is a platform that supports working parents.  Even before the pandemic, parents were having a really hard time juggling work and childcare challenges and with the advent of increased working from home this has been exacerbated.  Working parents need help!

We’ve built Poncho to help alleviate some of these challenges by providing parents with a broad but curated selection of learning and development activities (both online and in-person) for their children, all at heavily discounted rates. Poncho will also help parents understand and access government support for childcare activities that is available to most people, but incredibly difficult to get your head around.

Access to Poncho is provided by employers as an employee benefit, who see Poncho as a great means of attracting and retaining working parents as well as acknowledging just how tough parents have it at the moment!

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Poncho was developed by the team at Kamet Ventures, a venture builder.  We identified that there are affordability and accessibility challenges in the childcare space, especially when it comes to wraparound childcare, that covers weekends, holidays and the hours surrounding your normal day-to-day childcare solution. We also identified that uptake of tax-free childcare (the scheme replacing childcare vouchers) is incredibly low and poorly understood. We felt that we could really help parents by building a platform focused on wraparound childcare while helping parents access the financial support that they’re entitled to and we believed that employers could play a pivotal role in supporting their working parents, in lieu of the outgoing childcare vouchers scheme.

What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Be persistent and take the highs with the lows. Everyone says that starting a new business is a rollercoaster and there’s nothing truer. I always tell new founders to aim for the middle ground; never get too high after a big win and never get too low when something doesn’t work out. It’s amazing how quickly fortunes can change in a start-up, so you just need to keep going, roll with the punches and never take anything too personally.

What can we hope to see from Poncho in the future?

As we grow our user base and build leverage, we have some really exciting plans for Poncho. Nothing that I can reveal at the moment, but we want to really impact the affordability and accessibility of childcare across the whole spectrum and to do that we need to really mix things up. Watch this space!

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