Interview: Memom helping you capture and curate the best moments with your kidsNovember 14 2014
You probably remember her as the host of Pecha Kucha Night Singapore, the inspirational event that
showcases unique talents in Singapore’s local community. But when she’s not hosting Pecha Kucha
Night, Waki Yoneoka is busy building her start-up business – Memom, a photo concierge service for
families. So we were glad that we had the blessed opportunity to talk to Waki, and gain valuable insight
on being an entrepreneur and running an early stage start-up.
1. How did you get started with Memom?
The baby photo albums my mother created played an important aspect in shaping my identity. As
we live in a digital world, mothers are now unable to do so due to the hassle, despite the enormous
amount of photos taken. Memom was created to simplify and solve today’s digital photograph issues
by organising photo data scattered across different devices. Memom’s name is derived from “Memory”
and “Moment”, and our aim is to help busy parents curate photos of their children’s growth for all to
remember. Our product model is aligned to the research we have gathered on mothers and their main
2. How is the progress of Memom?
We have been running several test services with pilot users since the end of last year. It is crucial for us
to create a webpage that even non-tech-savvy users can maneuver around. We are also developing an
iPhone app, and the first release will be focusing on making it easy for parents to make periodic updates
among family members, including people who do not use Facebook or smart phones. Really great stuff!
With successful fundraising, we will release the core feature of photo curation by combining technology
and physical service.
3. What sparked your drive to be an entrepreneur?
I’ve always been passionate about leading a company that provided great value to people. It was only
after INSEAD’s great entrepreneurship programs led by the late Professor Patrick Turner, that stimulated
me to start a business. I sincerely honour Professor Turner’s great contribution to the school and his
inspiration to everyone. His iconic class “Your First Hundred Days” taught me that running a company
was not a fearful thing to do, and it is possible to manage any risk involved.
4. Why did you choose to start Memom in Singapore?
The start-up environment in Singapore is very welcoming! My home country, Japan, is very harsh
on working mothers due to work ethics historically built on traditional male and female roles. With
Memom, I aim to invent a new work style that corporations can learn from by hiring young parents
(essentially mothers) and exploring work styles that will suit these parents, while benefitting companies.
5. What’s it like running a start-up?
Doing this alone has been quite lonely to be honest. As the sole founder, deciding how to shape
Memom has been all up to me. Thankfully, I have awesome team members, a great advisor, and other
numerous people supporting me such as Mouna from Woomentum, and Jeffrey Paine from Founder
Institute. These groups of people have been a great support system and I am really grateful for that.
6. Were there any hiccups along the way?
It’s been a long and tiring road in finding the right technical co-founder. I’ve had one previously, but
things didn’t work out well. In order to go further to achieve Memom’s final business vision and make it
a real, scalable business, I need to find the right technical partner.
By Woomentum’s staff.