Anya baby & breastfeeding app logo - a lower case letter a with a baby's face with a tuft of hair with the word anya in lower case to the right

Combining children & Cambridge, Chen-style

November 22, 2022

From University of Cambridge Judge Business School, 1st November 2022

Our CEO and Founder, Dr. Chen talks about how the Judge Business School and the Cambridge Social Ventures programme supported her in her efforts to build and grow the LatchAid app, supporting and empowering mothers and families.

The UK has a poor breastfeeding rate. Our study shows that although 81% of mothers had initiated breastfeeding, 90% of them gave up before they wanted to due to lack of support, pain or other health issues, and isolation or depression. This affects women of all backgrounds and demographics. Chen used her significant technology and 3D graphics skills to design and develop the app, in response to a direct public health need.

Whilst on the journey to launch, Chen participated in the Cambridge Social Ventures weekend in November 2017 and met some of the programme’s top people, who encouraged her to apply. She was selected and started in April 2018, when her daughter was just nine weeks old.

“I travelled from Gloucestershire to Cambridge Judge every month for training and the whole team was always very accommodating, making sure both my daughter and I had all we needed,” she says. “I am very grateful to Cambridge Judge for such invaluable support.”

Mark Goodson, who mentored Chen at Cambridge Social Ventures and is still a Business Advisor for LatchAid, says: “LatchAid’s success is a testament to the power of an impactful solution, a very smart entrepreneur and the right support at the right time. But most of all it’s a testament to Chen’s persistence and determination. Holding down a full-time job, whilst caring for two young children and simultaneously getting LatchAid off the ground was a phenomenal effort.”

The LatchAid is now used by over 8,000 parents in 95 countries and is expanding its reach with the imminent launch of the Android app version, a brand new Gen2 app and a rebrand coming in 2023.

Related case studies