A moment with memoryKPR co-founder: Jessica McNaughton
You’re the memory maker. This is your memory keeper.
memoryKPR is not your average digital album. The app enables users to save, store, design and protect their memories with pictures, video, voice, and text. Your uploaded media is kept private, safe, and updated in one portal so you and your loved ones can access it at any time on the website or app. Founders Jessica McNaughton and Taylor Fox started collaborating on building the memoryKPR in Jan 2020. The co-founders are both nostalgic individuals who are committed to helping memories live on, look beautiful, and keep them safe.
The company is based in Saskatchewan with its formal headquarters in the Cultivator HQ space. Cultivator has used the app first hand for gathering greetings for our 3rd Birthday Bash. The collaborative album was easy to use and allowed our community and partners to contribute from across Canada. We are enthralled in the possibilities memoryKPR will have for us and future events.
With the excitement of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, we felt the call to showcase memoryKPR as they put their efforts into gathering good luck wishes for athletes to view throughout the games. memoryKPR’s campaign ‘3 Clicks to Cheer’ is a communal chapter that Canadians can contribute to from across the world.
It’s clear that memoryKPR is solidifying itself in the digital asset industry with a bright future with endless possibilities for their technology. memoryKPR is just a click away – helping users capture and store memories for future generations.
We had the opportunity to ask Jessica a few questions about her journey so far with memoryKPR… Here is an inside look at this week’s Founder Feature!
What inspired you to create memoryKPR?
The concept for memoryKPR was born out of necessity. I recognized the need for a solution based on the gaps in my own memories. Having lost both my parents and my niece, I was really feeling the pain of trying to keep all the pieces of them that I cling to, safe and fresh in my mind. I especially loved reflecting on my niece’s social media content, where I could hear her voice and her laughter. As social media changed, some of the pieces disappeared, and I knew there had to be a better way to protect and keep these special people alive in our memories.
I always kept journals for my own children and loved seeing the joy reflected in them when I shared some of the written stories at family gatherings. Although I am grateful for these journals, now that we have memoryKPR’s for my children’s stories, they have become even more fun for us to craft. I love seeing the connection of a picture and hearing the story that goes along with it– or having videos of the City Champs win, or the sounds of giggles outside the door during the sleepovers. These moments are priceless.
Taylor and I are cautious about the future of social media and the risks that are present by keeping all your private and important memories on these platforms. We want to create something that will stand the test of time, while still respecting your privacy.
What impact is memoryKPR making?
I always anticipated memoryKPR would have a great impact in the future, as we get to reflect on our memories. Our future is better if we A, learn from our past, and B, have confident ties to where and who we came from. We know having our memories captured in this meaningful way will make a difference to those who enjoy the stories in years to come. What we didn’t count on was hearing consistently from our users the amount of joy that is felt by taking the time to craft their stories on memoryKPR. We have had positive feedback from users about how much fun it was to reflect on a memory and connect with others as the story is forged in its chapter of memoryKPR. Families are learning elements of memories they never knew before by co-authoring and getting many sides of the story.
Our stories and memories are what make all of us the people we are, and understanding, honoring, and sharing these stories is having a huge impact on the people who are using memoryKPR.
Who is using memoryKPR today?
We have been used for so many things: weddings, celebrations, milestones, family history, new babies, time capsules, travel, and more! The audience is wide. We are seeing the largest demand in 40-60-year-olds as this is an age group that remembers having photo albums and recognizes the gap since that period of time. They are old enough to value nostalgia but young enough to know technologies like memoryKPR are the solution. Ten years ago people didn’t worry about their digital assets, how they were protected, or who owned them. But year over year, we gain more digital assets and know the future includes solutions that protect them for you, in a meaningful way.
What excites you about the future of memoryKPR?
In the last couple of months, we have had some great feedback – mostly about the ease and the peace of mind memoryKPR brings people who have had their story scattered between social media, shoe boxes, and Google drives. We plan on offering more products and services as well as increasing the software’s capabilities for user-friendly needs. Recently, we announced partnerships across North America to help users convert photos and videos into a memoryKPR and we will be announcing products like print books and other art pieces to accompany the digital story.
What has your experience been like at Cultivator?
When I first visited Cultivator it was almost brand new. We heard from Jordan McFarlen about the vision, and then we heard from community founders in the ecosystem: Matt Fahlman (OffStreet) and Kirk Morrison (Krugo). I was inspired. Shortly after that, my professional circumstances changed and it created the perfect storm to pursue memoryKPR (at the time called the Vault). In the summer of 2019, we were accepted into the very first START Cohort with Cultivator. We completed the program and with the help of Hannah Castle continued to develop the concept while seeking the perfect CTO (also facilitated by Cultivator staff and events).
Taylor and I met at a couple of Cultivator events before starting to discuss the possibility of teaming up. Taylor had many startups asking her to come on board, and we are SO grateful she not only chose memoryKPR but has stayed committed to shaping the concept and building the product. Together we bring very different but complementary skills and experience to the table. I am constantly amazed by the experts the Cultivator team attracts from around the globe, to come and help us founders.
It can be a lonely road as an entrepreneur. Cultivator takes care of this by creating a community that is traveling a similar path. Cultivator has provided moral support through access to fellow founders and being able to crowdsource lessons you can learn from your peers. The Cultivator team is always there with the right questions to understand my business and my challenges, but also with the candor to help me recognize and overcome these obstacles with the right resources that help fill the gaps. This group is truly incubating and creating the right conditions for growth! They do it with a humbleness only found on the prairies, but also a determination you’d rarely find outside of this province.
We can’t thank Jessica enough for the time she spent opening up about her company. We are so excited for our team to explore more opportunities that we can save Cultivator moments on memoryKPR.
Jessica McKnaughton is passionate about protecting stories and memories. Committed to understanding and building products that fulfill her user’s needs. A background working for some of Canada’s most respected corporations such as WestJet, RBC, and Viterra, in senior leadership roles. She is a dreamer and loves working with fellow founders to visualize big solutions to solve big problems. Jessica did not complete an undergrad degree – she was too busy traveling the globe with a backpack on in her 20’s… but it didn’t stop her from climbing the corporate ladder once she settled down. Jess quickly moved into leadership and executive positions throughout her career, prior to completing her EMBA at Levene School of Business. Jessica believes with the right attitude, kindness, laughter by your side, and some determination, anything can be conquered.
Taylor Fox is a lover of all things outdoors, an adventure seeker, and a problem solver. Taylor received her Bachelors of Computer Science from the University of Saskatoon, starting her career as a developer at iQ metrics, and progressing into leading development projects and teams, she then joined FCC in the development team. Taylor is committed to making memoryKPR a success, by making it easy, meaningful and safe– always with the user front and center. The knowledge she brings to the memoryKPR team, for product development and design is amazing, but even more than that, Taylor has a skill for looking at complex problems in a unique way, that invites creativity and simple solutions to win.