Sarah Boland founded her app, LifeLapse, a stop-motion themed app designed to elevate social media posts and brand marketing campaigns, three years ago. Since then, the LifeLapse founder has amassed 1.5M active users around the world, grew a team in Canada, appeared on Dragon’s Den and now offers her app in 6 different languages! Sarah, who’s currently pregnant with twins, has no intention on going slower when the babies will be born. The LifeLapse founder is our latest #WomenInspiringWomen:
What inspired you for to start your own business?
Before launching Life Lapse, I was an in-house video marketer producing brand videos while also freelancing as a videographer on the side. I always knew I wanted to build something that had global impact with my skillset in video. At this time, video was beginning to be introduced on social media platforms and was growing fast. I recognized how important it was for brands to have video integrated into their marketing strategies for brand and product storytelling but as I was freelancing, I noticed that small businesses didn’t have the budget to hire professional videographers. When you are wearing 10 different hats in your business, choosing where to hire help is hard and content creation was low on the priority list.
iPhone cameras were reaching impressive quality and I knew a mobile app was my way to help these small businesses. I took the leap to start Life Lapse and the journey began to democratize video creation with a phone and an app. Life Lapse is a stop motion app that allows small businesses, creators and influencers to make eye catching videos for social media. Since launching three years ago, I’m proud to say we have almost 2 million users worldwide and I have been able to build something that has scaled on a global level thanks to our availability on the Apple App Store.
What differentiates your brand/product from the rest?
Life Lapse is the only stop motion app in the app store that is built for businesses to create content for social media. Some key differentiators include the Academy where users can learn stop motion and how to use it for their business, one-click resizing for social media, hundreds of royalty-free music for marketing use and more.
Traditionally, creating stop motion videos is a tedious process or you would have to hire a professional with the gear to create it which includes a camera but also stop motion software and computer equipment. Life Lapse saves users thousands of dollars when it comes to creating stop motion videos and also simplifies this process so users can learn, create and edit stop motions with their phones 10X faster.
Do you have a life motto?
Don’t overthink it and just do it.
Tell us about the reality of your industry.
Women continue to be underrepresented in tech and the mobile app space, but I continue to see improvement with each year I’m in business. With the app industry, it’s difficult to build your brand and a rapport with your users because users are not provided with a lot of information about the developers and vice versa. Oftentimes, users don’t think about who is behind the app – a similar scenario that e-commerce retailers face too.
I stepped into the tech world quite naively since I didn’t have a technical background. I may not have followed the traditional steps when it comes to building technology and a start-up, but I have learned along the way. In my experience, I have always been the only woman in the room at events but as the world is aware of bias and making a conscious effort to change this, I believe it’s a great time for more women to get into tech as more opportunities and support are provided to us.
What’s the one product that’s always in your purse?
What is a fact about you that would surprise others?
Nothing! I’m an open book.
What changes concerning women would you like to see in 2021?
I would like to see more representation, especially for female founders in the funding community to make capital more accessible for female owned businesses. While 40% of businesses are owned by women, only 2.3% receive funding for their businesses. This number declined 27% from 2019 to 2020, I’m assuming due to the burden of unpaid labor and expectation to homeschool and be the primary caretaker for elderly family members along with other pandemic transitions.
I met with a handle of VC’s when my numbers started to skyrocket about 1.5 years after launch. The response was “come back when you reach $X in ARR”. I hit those targets within 1.5 months, followed up and never heard back. After that, I fueled the rejection into growing the business with our own profits and have continued to bootstrap my business. Was I rejected because I was a female? I have no idea. What do I know is that when meeting with investors, they were men. When I was at pitch events, I was the only female pitching.
What advice would you like to give to today’s women?
Surround yourself with people who support you. If you believe you can do it, you can. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise and take a step back from the nay-sayers in your life. I would not be where I am today without the support of my husband, family and friends. Being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of doubt and imposter syndrome. You have to take major risks. If you don’t have cheerleaders by your side who believe in you, it will make the battle that much harder.
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