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The perfect tool for busy families

Our Village app creators Felicity Dougherty and Matthew Findlay with little Suzy Dougherty. Photo Megan Masters / The Chronicle
Our Village app creators Felicity Dougherty and Matthew Findlay with little Suzy Dougherty. Photo Megan Masters / The Chronicle Megan Masters

AS THE mother of five active children, Felicity Dougherty knows how out of hand the family schedule can get.

So when Canvas Coworking Space Toowoomba launched the inaugural Festival of Audacious Ideas, she knew exactly what kind of project to pitch.

She teamed up with a small group of programmers and aspiring entrepreneurs, and the group managed to bring the project from pitch to serious business plan in 48 hours.

The result was Our Village, an app designed to take the stress out of family life.

Ms Dougherty said the new app was all about helping busy families schedule their tasks and chores, keep track of where family members are using GPS and allow each person to check off their list.

A shared family calendar then allowed each person to stay abreast of what the overall schedule looks like.

"Instead of me running around in the morning screaming at my children so they've got everything for school that day, I already know what they're doing or haven't done," she said.

"They have incentives to organise themselves and learn management skills as they grow.

"There's also a safety element where I can effectively set the boundaries of where they can play and I get an alert if they go outside that area.

"There is also a safety alarm the kids can press if they feel they're in any danger.

"I used to ride my bike around for hours when I was a kid, and while I would never let my children do that, I can allow a little more independence and still feel safe."

Once they refined the idea, the next step was to pitch it again, this time to the RISE conference in Hong Kong, where the team would have access to mentoring, capital investors and other developers from across the globe.

They made the cut and Ms Dougherty said the excitement among group members was palpable, although there was plenty more work to do and some big ideas to improve it past the planned entry-level point.

They hope to find some investors at the conference that would allow them to market the new app, which they received some amazing feedback for, particularly from mums.

To find out more about Our Village, visit ourvillage.co.



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