Where everything started


When my daughter was born, I decided to take a 12-month paternity leave. I had spent the previous 12 years working in Brazil, France and the USA. But none of these past experiences were of much help in my new role as a dad.

Jokingly, I changed my LinkedIn professional title to ‘Father on paternity leave Scandinavian-style’ – a way to recognise to myself and tell everyone else that I had proudly become a stay-at-home dad.

But the end of my paternity leave approached fast and the return to work after such a life-changing experience became less appealing. In addition to being closer to my family, I wanted to create deeper roots in my own community.

While taking care of my daughter I realised that it really does ‘take a village to raise a child’, especially in an urban jungle like London. Old friends and relatives were still very important, but my wife and I longed for a new network of local support.

It took quite some time, effort and luck to find other like-minded parents. These new friends became very important in our new life, since they were all in the same situation, living nearby and with children the same age as ours. They were available to join us for a walk nearby, a coffee next door or a pint in the local pub.

It was within this context that came the idea to develop the first mobile app to connect like-minded parents living nearby, helping new parents to create their own modern-day network of local support. I named the app ParentsNearby and started a quest to find the first parents to join it.