Technology-enabled parenting: Cuentologia's mission to improve child-rearing
Fiorella and Ursula, co-founders of Cuentologia, share their journey of helping parents to face parenting challenges while connecting with their children and improving their social-emotional skills.
An inspiring story about two sisters who set up a tech solution for parenting and children’s social-emotional challenges
In 2019, after 12 years of working in-house for brands serving children, and despite a promising career in marketing ahead, Fiorella decided to quit and left the corporate world to focus on her family and her children.
Now able to spend more time at home, she soon realized that her children had their own challenges, and sought support from her sister, Ursula, a keen writer who has worked as Creative Director in Advertising agencies. As a way to help Fiorella’s children face these issues, she began writing stories.
When the pandemic hit, the siblings noticed that many parents had no idea how to explain to their children what was happening, or why they couldn’t go to school, or spend time with their friends. Once again, telling stories seemed like a useful tool for parents to support and connect with their children.
“There’s a new generation of parents, who want to raise their children positively, with egalitarian and respectful parenting. Now they invest time and money to become better parents,” explains Fiorella, CEO of Cuentología.
With this in mind, the sisters set up testing with focus groups and engaged with their first users. Cuentología was born.
The application, launched in July 2022, includes over 54 original Spanish audio stories that children and parents can listen to together and learn to better understand current situations and ways of handling their emotions. All the content is supported by a psychologist and, for every story, there’s a manual for parents with tips and activities they can implement with children.
Everything in the design and delivery is considered, emphasizes Fiorella:
“The audible format of the stories keeps children away from screens, avoiding the negative effects of potential overexposure such as emotional and sleep disorders. At the same time, it supports imagination, creativity, vocabulary, and diction improvement, through original music and effects, and a pool of dubbing actors who give life to the characters, with the ultimate aim of connecting parents and children.”
While setting up Cuentología, one of the first challenges the sisters faced was to understand their early adopters and validate their business model. The first-time founders reached out to Swiss EP and learned of UTEC Ventures. They eventually joined the Acceleration Program “10G Female Founders” and Ursula later also participated in Latitud Fellowship 7th cohort.
Developing the app and creating more content were two of the main challenges, mainly due to lack of financing, so they invested their own money, tapped into their friends and family network, and started applying to grants and prizes winning StartUp Peru, TechRise and Dolphin Tank in Chicago, and recently Startups4Peru.
Content creation is still a huge challenge. Initially, Ursula wrote all the stories, but she soon realized that more writers were needed. They hired freelance writers around LatAm, but are still considering a better model to pursue to produce more stories moving forward.
Currently, the platform has more than 8000 users, and Fiorella is impressed that after Peru, Mexico counts the most listeners, followed by Spanish-speaking populations in the US.
Cuentología can’t be defined as a single offering. It’s a mix, a hybrid that brings together children, parents, wellness, mental health, education, and emotions, as well as being a new solution available to families.
And they are responding. Children:
“Lorenza, your story encouraged me to get vaccinated and now I feel braver,” expressed a child in an email to the main character of a story which was sent by his parents.
“Before listening to your story about fruits and vegetables, my child didn’t eat them, even watermelon.” and
“Since my son listened to your story, he doesn’t let me help him. He wants to do everything by himself!”
These responses have left the co-founders feeling optimistic about what’s in store for 2023.
“We had a great close of 2022, validating our app with over 8000 users, winning prizes and grants, and even monetizing. We’ve just been accepted into Techstars Miami Program, and I believe that great things will come. We’re going to the next level this year, looking to raise capital, to validate our product in the US market, even increase our content 2x, as part of our strategic path.”
We can’t wait to follow along.