Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
On MamaLeave, local moms can find playgroups and activities in their neighborhoods. Instead of traditional playgroups with set days, the app takes advantage of mobile technology to make the experience more spontaneous.
The woman behind the app is Laurie Cordova, a product development professional based in Arlington. The mother of two said that as a working mom, both from at home and in the office, she often needed to make plans quickly.
She also recognized that some moms have evolving availability. They might find it difficult to join an established playgroup, or they might not want to commit to a group because they know their schedule will change.
“The goal is to create flexibility for moms, if they’re home during the day or if they’re just available on weekends or night time,” said Cordova. “I think it appeals to moms no matter what their situation is.”
MamaLeave connects through Facebook, where moms can fill out a profile and connect automatically to moms in their zip code who also have the app installed. Moms can join the events — known as “Mama Leaves” — that interest them, or they can create their own event. If a family lives close to another zip code, they can also be linked to “Mama Leaves” in those neighborhoods as well.
The other goal of the app is to bring communities together in a way that is accessible in modern society. In a world where outside play is less common and many are wary of strangers, Cordova said MamaLeave helps get neighbors talking.
“Everyone is glued to a device, they’re used to meeting people through a device,” Cordova said. “People don’t approach people to make friends or to meet their neighbors in the same way.”
The app is live now but Cordova calls this is the “beta” period. She is focused on building the app in Arlington and within her own network.
“The most important thing for me right now is to see how people use it and what they think of it,” Cordova said.