By Dana Ciak, Alumni Relations
Ron Spreeuwenberg (BASc’05) started on a path many engineering students do after graduation, travelling around the country helping large companies improve operations through the latest technologies, later receiving his MBA from Harvard Business School. But after several years of doing consultancy work and getting his business degree, Ron embarked on a new business venture. Inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial ambitions, which never came to fruition after a serious collision with a drunk driver, Ron took the plunge in 2013, and co-founded HiMama.
The idea for HiMama came from a discussion with a friend of Ron‘s who had a toddler in daycare. Each day he would receive uninspiring paper based reports about his son’s day. This got Ron thinking there had to be a more engaging way for parents to get updates about their child’s day, especially in the digital age we’re living in. And so HiMama was born.
HiMama allows child care and early learning programs to record and share children’s daily activities using tablets. Child care providers can share everything from basic nutritional information to fun moments and learning milestones which parents receive via email and through HiMama’s mobile apps. Child care providers are quickly getting on board with HiMama because it replaces what used to be administrative paperwork with a fun way to record and share children’s activities with parents.
“With now more than two thirds of Canadian women with children under the age of five working full-time, my co-Founder Alana Frome and I decided to create HiMama to help working parents connect with their children through technology, allowing them to stay informed on what matters most to them no matter where they are,” explains Ron. “It alleviates a lot of the guilt and anxiousness that parents feel when going back into the workforce because communications between the educator and parent are more transparent, where parents can actually see that their child is being well cared for.”
Ron speaks highly of his time at the University of Waterloo and how it influenced him into becoming an entrepreneur.
“One of my more memorable experiences at UWaterloo was the entrepreneurial culture. It filled the air and I made the most of it being part of the Entrepreneurs Association and getting involved in the early days of Communitech,” explains Ron. “My time at UWaterloo had a big influence on me and most certainly forged the entrepreneurial path that I’m on now.”
HiMama is based out of Toronto and actively hires UWaterloo co-op students to help drive their expansion across Canada and the U.S.