Coroflo: The Search for a Comfortable Breastfeeding Experience for All Women
Breastfeeding has been a stigmatized concept for the longest time - for no good reason. Proteins, fat, and vitamins - these all make essential ingredients every baby needs to grow healthy and strong. Even so, breastfeeding is not as attainable to many babies as it should be. In fact, only four out of ten children breastfeed for the recommended period of six months.
This is where Coroflo the story of Dr. Helen Barry, James Travers, and Rosanne Longmore begins. Taught by their own experience, the trio developed Coroflo, a technological innovation intended for all babies dependent on breastfeeding.
Coroflo is an accurate breastfeeding monitor using a built-in flow management system. It helps track, monitor, and assess breastfeeding, using real-time data. Designed for occasional and perpetual use, Coroflo manages every breastfeeding mother’s volume, ensuring every baby gets enough ‘soul food’ for healthy development!
Read how Helen and James gave Coroflo the unique purpose of tending to every baby’s optimal nutrition and wellbeing!
A Strange Mix of Founders
Rosanne Longmore is the current CEO of Coroflo. She has been working in the financial sector for years, taking up a wide range of managerial jobs across her career. Her business-savvy roots begin with her enrollment into college, which garnered her a Bachelor’s and later a Master's Degree in Public Administration and Management in Dublin.
From an early age, her interest in numbers and finance led to her becoming a successful manager and even COO at a young age. It was her financial knowledge combined with Dr. Helen Barry’s experience in medicine that kickstarted the idea of Coroflo.
Dr. Helen Barry, on the other hand, has always cultivated a deep interest in medicine. Her initial inquiries on the human body led her to earn a BSc, and soon after, an MSc in Microbiology at University College Dublin. Her hard work and dedication in the field of medicine helped her become one of the most successful medical scientists in Dublin. Currently, she is a co-founder of Coroflo and the Chief Medical Scientist at St. James Hospital.
James Travers is the current CTO of Coroflo and husband to Dr. Helen Barry. His professional background lies primarily in electronics, which is partly how he was exposed to flow-metering technologies like 3D printing – and how he initially got the idea to create a breastfeeding monitor. Though his beginnings are unknown, his extensive record with various tech companies has helped him create a life-changing experience for mothers across the world.
What started as a simple question for a married couple twenty years ago, soon turned into a revolutionary idea for mothers across the globe. With significant efforts from all three individuals, they have created Coroflo. With it, they invented and introduced an accurate breastfeeding monitor – the first of its kind.
The Story of a Couple
The conception of Coroflo coincided with the birth of Dr. Helen Barry and James Travers’ son, who despite being born full-term, weighed less than 5 pounds.
Most couples face breastfeeding-related challenges during their child’s first year of development. Like most mothers, Dr. Helen Barry was unsure how to accurately measure the amount of milk their son was receiving, since there were no milk measuring tools at the time. Knowing the importance of breast milk - courtesy of her medical studies - Helen and her husband James sought after various products on the market to try and find a solution.
The couple soon realized there was no precise way to measure milk flow. They initially resorted to pre- and post-feed weight measurements, which proved to offer little to no accuracy. At the time, James Travers had been working on a flow monitoring device for a different service, which is where the idea for the groundbreaking invention came from.
They soon turned to a good friend of theirs, Rosanne Longmore, who was excited to help the couple bring their innovation to life.
The main idea was to not only educate women on breastfeeding but help with milk volume management as well. With some tinkering, the product they came up with was a silicone nipple shield and companion app in one by the name of Coro. As of 2017, it is the only patented device that assesses the supply of breastmilk. Moreover, it also measures how much volume a baby is getting during feeding sessions in real-time. On top of that, it exchanges anonymous data from other babies, using age for comparison.
Simply put, hard work and dedication to their baby’s welfare helped them develop the only smart breastfeeding device on the planet. With a patent and optimism in mind, all three entrepreneurs left their jobs to start a new journey in Coroflo.
The Difficulties of Investing Through Testing
With no clear competitor in the field, it was initially difficult to try and garner data to appropriately compare it to another product. That’s why Rosanne, Dr. Helen, and James had to resort to employing precision industrial flow meters to try and compare any and all results.
Moreover, since there are no medically approved methods for customers to test the product, it proved difficult for the Coroflo team to try and gain some initial support.
That’s why Rosanne had the idea of moving their headquarters to Dogpatch Labs in Dublin This is where her knowledge of management and finance proved useful – and where she hustled her way through a highly competitive environment.
A Powerful Community
With some major networking, a community of people that saw a lot of potential, and Rosanne’s tireless efforts, Coroflo was on its way to success.
In April 2017, half a year shy of their initial patent, they witnessed an influx of investors. Their goal was just €250,000 in investments. This resulted in Rosanne having to cap funds when they reached €650,000, to be used for a higher valuation the following year.
This alone created some buzz around Coroflo – and it’s how it landed on the list of High Potential Start-up clients of Enterprise Ireland. The award came with an additional €250,000 in 2017. Further funding came from the European Commission, which saw huge potential in the project and backed it with another €2,100,000. On top of this, billionaire mogul Richard Branson crowned the platform the Virgin Media Business Voom Tour competition winner.
In October 2019, the company raised an additional €1,000,000. The praise continued in the following years as Rosanne, Dr. Helen, and James continued to push their idea to other outlets. This ultimately landed them additional funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other anonymous investors.
The Future is Coro
As of 2021, Coro is in the final testing and approval stages and is estimated to launch by the end of the year in the UK and Ireland.
The device is already allowed to be sold at various McCabe and McCauley chains, and the app is available online in the Apple and Android stores. Plans of expanding Coro globally are also underway, by targeting specific markets like the United States and China in the next few years.
Rosanne’s one and only hope is for the product to be accepted by mothers and approved by couples. At the same time, Dr. Helen and James are still aiming to raise awareness for further research into breastfeeding technology.
For the three entrepreneurs, the biggest milestone is yet to come – to bring Coroflo closer to all mothers nurturing their babies to health!