Tulsa Business Journal: Tell us a little bit about your business. When did/will you start it? Why? What is the overall mission of your business?
Kids on the Clock: Kids on the Clock is a software application that manages drop-in and hourly childcare centers. The business is responsible for developing the software application, marketing, sales and technical support of the application.
The company is comprised of Geoffrey and Shawna Simpson, a husband and wife team. We’re starting the design and planning of the Kids on the Clock software in July of 2008.
TBJ: What triggered your idea for your business concept?
KotC: We have been using local drop-in childcare centers for some time now; we live away from our families, so we don’t have a built-in family support system for watching our children.
It struck us as quite inefficient the way several of these drop-in facilities were managing the entire process, from making sure the children have the proper shot records, verifying the guardians that can pick up the children, and the entire billing mechanism.
We then started looking at other areas within the same type of drop-in childcare like church nurseries and fitness centers. The need for software that manages the check-in, check-out, security verification and billing process exists, and the existing products do not directly fit the needs.
TBJ: How are you funding your business?
KotC: The need for funding to this point has been close to non-existent. We are fortunate enough to have been accepted into the Microsoft BizSpark program, which provides all development tools and supporting Microsoft products to start-ups at no cost for the first three years.
Using our personal computers we are able to do the design and implementation of the software without incurring any costs. This is and will be for the short-term future a part-time endeavor.
TBJ: What do you hope to gain from participating in the Spirit Award?
KotC: We hope to build relationships with the business support groups within Tulsa that will help us as we grow our business.
Already we have gotten to know several of the other top 25, and we are all excited about what lies ahead of us.
Another key thing we hope to gain is assistance developing our business plan and strategy from seasoned professionals who have been where we are right now. The coaching and training that we hope to receive costs thousands of dollars that we would not be able to afford at this stage in the business life cycle.
TBJ: How important has the Spirit Award been in encouraging you to try to start a business?
KotC: We started planning the business before we became aware of the Spirit Award. When we started looking at the resources available to start ups in Tulsa, the Spirit Award is one of the most prominent things we found. Geoffrey went to the 2008 Spirit Award winner announcement when Grocio.com was awarded with the top prize; it was then that we decided to enter the 2009 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award competition.