„Migrant Birth Kit“: how BRIDGE Proof of Concept is a steppingstone for the start-up ONEDU.

Patricia Frei (right) and Lynn Huber (left), co-founders of ONEDU
© jantofilm.ch

We are pleased to introduce today Patricia Frei and her start-up ONEDU supported by BRIDGE Proof of Concept and hosted by the Berner Fachhochschule BFH.

Patricia Frei (right) and Lynn Huber (left), co-founders of ONEDU. Picture credits: jantofilm.ch

What is your BRIDGE Proof of Concept project about?

For many migrant families, access to birth preparation courses or midwifery care during pregnancy is very difficult due to language, bureaucratic, but also organisational obstacles. Therefore, ONEDU is planning the online antenatal course „Migrant Birth Kit“, designed in the form of a video-based application. The video material produced is translated and synchronised into 16 different languages to make the course accessible to as many people as possible. Due to its low-threshold character, it will be possible for families to participate flexibly in terms of time and location. The long-term goal is to increase the health literacy of asylum-seeking and migrant families in Switzerland and improve their quality of life.

Your start-up was already founded when you applied. How is BRIDGE Proof of Concept supporting your project?

BRIDGE Proof of Concept not only finances the one-year production phase of the product but has also provided us with a coach who advises us on business issues. Since we are midwives (as well as an ethnologist and filmmaker), we have the necessary expertise, but we are incredibly happy about the help in marketing and business, as well as financing. We have also joined forces with a new partner university, BFH, by applying to BRIDGE Proof of Concept. They are leaders in research on birth-related issues among asylum-seeking people in Switzerland. This collaboration might not have happened without the programme, and we benefit from it to a large extent.

With Lynn Huber, you are working as a team. Was the single applicant requirement BRIDGE Proof of Concept a difficult limitation to organise your project?

Even though BRIDGE Proof of Concept requires one person to submit a project, it is open to teams. The person submitting the project has to commit a 100% to the project. One of us simply had to sign up as project manager, but it was no problem at all that we work as a team, and we felt very supported in the process. This is perfect for us, as we can both still pursue our work as midwives. Even now that one of us is pregnant, BRIDGE has supported us without any problems in hiring a maternity replacement for 4 months so that the product can be completed within a year.

What advice would you give candidates that wish to implement their social innovation?

Don’t shy away from the amount of work involved. At first it seems like a lot, but it is quite doable with good organisation. Find a good partner university that supports you 100%. And then it is time to overcome stage fright and prepare a good, innovative pitch. It is a great opportunity that you should not miss, because the application to BRIDGE Proof of Concept can be a great steppingstone!