When now-former SpaceX Dragon mission director Erin Beck became pregnant with her first child roughly four years ago, the company's "generous" benefits were just not enough.

She wanted to be home full time with her daughter and arrange her work life flexibly so she could raise her, but with the loss of income from leaving her day job she couldn't afford to.

That's how the Wana Family Network was born in 2017. Beck, who's founder and CEO of the Los Angeles-based public benefit corporation, looked to the parent-helping-parent, cooperative kind of childcare she was raised on as a kid. But she couldn't find any such app.

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On Thursday, May 7th, we featured three emerging healthcare startups founded in Southern California as part of our biweekly Virtual Pitch Showcase.

Dr. Mickey Pentecost, co-founder and ceo at Diadem Biotherapeutics, Jennifer Saxton, founder and CEO at Tot Squad and Brian Conyer, co-founder and CEO of GIBLIB presented a high level overview on their products and services to angel investor Spencer Rascoff and Jay Goss, general partner at Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health.

dot.LA Virtual Pitch Showcase: Healthcare Startups in Southern California www.youtube.com


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When Jennifer Beall Saxton learned she had been accepted into two different startup accelerators, including the highly competitive Techstars "Anywhere" Class, it was a no brainer.

She wanted to be able to work, mostly, anywhere so that she could also balance her family's needs -- a toddler and a husband in Los Angeles -- with her burgeoning business. That business, Tot Squad, aims to connect new parents to services.

"There are many of us in this class with kids and the typical accelerator that makes you uproot your life to go to a city for 13 weeks feels like it was designed for 'tech bros' in their 20s," Saxton, the company's founder and CEO. "Folks like us who have kids and husbands with jobs can't just pick up like that, so I think this new Anywhere program is brilliant!"

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