Hi, I’m Kristen 👋🏼
I’m the founder of Mina and this is our story. It started from a collision of my professional career and my personal experience becoming a parent.
My background is in technology and communications, specifically focused in web structure, APIs (the connectivity between systems, companies, and apps), and bringing people together. I’ve built many tech teams, launched over a dozen products, and been part of digital transformations as technology evolves.
I’ve worked with scrappy startups, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in-between. One of the things that brings me the greatest joy in life is to watch people thrive in their talents and dreams. Because of that passion, I co-founded a community coding organization focused on gender equality – Hack the Gap (acquired 2019). I also created Night Sky Web Co, a technology company that builds web and marketing solutions for small businesses and startups.
I’m a published writer, with work featured in multiple publications, and an international speaker on APIs. I’ve also been invited as a speaker for events hosted by Target, Product Development Management Association, The Nerdery, Film Society of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Twin Cities Startup Weekend Education. I was also one of 2016 Minneapolis/St. Paul’s Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.
Here’s the plot twist to my tech story – I had a baby.
With that came an understanding that many parents don’t have the support they desperately need. I found myself wondering: how do people do this? And because I’m a community builder, researcher, innovator, world-shaker, and tech and business-minded person, I was moved to create change. Instead of sitting back and wondering, I got to work. It was in all of this, that Mina was born.
Well actually, we started with a text service called Hello Mom where thousands of moms signed up. Some nights, we were getting so many sign up alerts we thought we were getting spammed!
This product evolved to be more gender-inclusive with a focus on the root of the problem — access to better care in the first place. I realized quickly from personal experience and data, that one of the best supporters of parents in their most vulnerable and powerful times, are birthworkers (thank you).
It was after my first birth experience and my journey to my second, that I realized a profound difference in the midwifery model of care from the care model most people are familiar with, obstetrics. After my first birth, I carried with me emotional trauma and coerced into procedures that I now know are not based in evidence. My second birth experience was incredibly healing and I wanted more families to find midwifery care models.
For parents to thrive, birthworkers need to be found – and if birthworkers are found, then they thrive too. The number one way most people find their birth team and birthplace is Google. The other way is word of mouth. But the health-focused, care-giving birthworkers are not always paired with tech people who know how to navigate the web. Often this means not being found, or worse -- setting a terrible impression with an outdated, hard to understand website. As humans we equate credibility and trust with design and aesthetic.
And that’s what birthed Mina to what it is today: a company focused on building a better web for birth professionals. If you want to be successful in your small birth business, a beautiful, impactful, searchable, website that has excellent SEO qualities should be one of your first priorities. People most often make decisions based on how they feel, and those decisions typically take place within the first 10 seconds of looking at your site. Let my experience in tech and my love for birth transform your website into what parents are looking for.
Peace and love ✌🏻
Our team started with the three of us, we grew to several more then COVID-19 hit. We're a tech, creative, birthy combo that fiercely believes birth is a profound experience that deserves respectful care. Birth is the one experience we all have as humans -- we are all born! Those first moment can have a significant impact on our gut biome, long-term physical, emotional, and mental health.