Becoming a ‘mumpreneur’

Noosa local and mother of two Raeleen Kaeseahgen. Picture: Dave Gleeson, Surfshots

By Abbey Cannan

If you use a mobile phone or surf online, chances are you are using a product or service such as a website, an app, a game or a social network created by a tech entrepreneur.

It takes a lot passion and perseverance to become a successful tech entrepreneur, and not everyone is going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates.

Many may think they have a billion-dollar tech idea that will change the industry, but there are a lot of necessary steps to actually get that idea off the ground.

Someone who knows exactly how to take an idea and bring it into existence is Noosa mother of two Raeleen Kaeseahgen.

Raeleen’s tech business has been nominated in the 2019 AusMumpreneur Awards and 2019 Sunshine Coast Business Awards.

Raeleen founded an online booking site in February called mudputty.com and her team developed their software platform in-house on the Sunshine Coast, in under 12 months.

Mudputty is an online community of classes, workshops and activities for women, men and children of all ages and interests, including outdoor and adventure, technology, health and wellness, food and drink, language and culture, entertainment and business.

As a mum of two, Raeleen understands the power of community. In a world so connected, yet disconnected, so many are lonely and seeking their ‘village’.

When she became a mum, she found a support network was vital and started looking for classes to connect with other local mums and learn something new.

What she found was that many people were closing down their classes due to lack of attendance and the hassle of administering a business.

“The idea for mudputty came through my own frustrations of trying to find local classes,” Raeleen said.

“As a mum I use classes for myself socially, for the kids as things to do and at a higher level I feel face-to-face classes and workshops provide a connection for community – taking us out of the online disconnected world and reconnecting us back with interests and things we love doing.

“Trying to find local classes was so time-consuming, having to look in so many places, only to come up empty-handed. I wanted to check if it was just me or if others were having the same problem.

“I surveyed people in mum’s groups, at cafes, people out for a walk, people of all ages and interests. From the survey it was clear people were just as frustrated as me in trying to find classes and wanted to be able to find classes by very filtered searches quickly and be able to instantly book.

“I then asked providers of classes about their biggest issues and problems. The biggest problem was lack of attendees. They would tell me how they’d spend hours handing out flyers, posting online, telling their friends to spread the word … yet all they would get are a few attendees turn up.”

Raeleen said the reaction has been tremendous to the site since launching Australia wide in February.

“With over 1000 hosts and helping thousands of people find classes in their own backyard they never knew existed – the feedback has been wonderful,” she said.

Raeleen said it was wonderful to be recognised by people in the community after being nominated for a Sunshine Coast Business Award.

“Also being nominated in the People Choice AusMumpreneur Awards in the ‘Business Making a Difference’ category is an absolute highlight – as it means people are resonating with the purpose of mudputty and the difference we want to make,” she said.

Noosa is a growing hub of entrepreneurs and Raeleen’s company recently moved into the Peregian Digital Hub to be co-located with other high-growth local startups.

“The digital talent in Noosa is far beyond what meets the eye,” Raeleen said.

“As a tech entrepreneur who moved here 10 years ago, I didn’t realise the talent on our own doorstep. There’s an amazing buzz with great things happening and Noosa is definitely the place to watch as the place for great emerging businesses.”

As a mum, Raeleen doesn’t get much spare time these days as she spends her days juggling her business and family life.

“My theory is there’s no wrong or right way to do it. Just go with what works for you. For me that means being different and being OK with having no time off.

“I like the saying you can have everything, just not all at once. I can climb Everest, I can have a baby, I can do nothing and have an amazing social life, just not all at the same time.”