Jenna Fernandes is just one of the passionate and impressive startup leaders who make the Stamford Innovation Center their headquarters. Her business is called Carebooker and provides a platform to help folks take care of their commitments by engaging trained and reviewed service providers. Here’s her story:
What does your business do?
Online booking and payment services for care services such as childcare, pet care, tutoring services, housekeeping, personal fitness, and senior care.
When did you start your business?
When I was working as a consultant in NYC, I noticed people weren’t able to get pets or were having problems finding care for them when they were gone, so I started Pet it Forward. The business helped people find the right care that they needed for their pets. From there, we were able to make booking care services for other things, like childcare, easier.
What have been some of your best achievements?
- Raising our first seed round of financing
- Hiring first employee
- Customer service
- Tech team in California
- Grown user base to thousands
Goals for the future?
We would love to be able to build a platform for booking in all American cities. Also, just getting our name out there and letting people know how we are different.
What makes CareBooker different from its competitors?
- We don’t require an expensive monthly membership fee to find service providers.
- We provide free, comprehensive background checks for providers that are free for families to view.
- We make it easy for people to book interviews by phone, Skype, or at a location that works for them.
- We make it simple to book care and pay online (families can even easily add a tip).
- All of the reviews on the site are “certified” – which means someone had to actually book and pay for services with that provider via CareBooker in order to add the review/rate the provider.
- We collect data and use it to publish statistics, for example: how many interviews vs. how many bookings, how many families re-book with a provider, etc.
- We are a simple way for care providers to manage their entire business, for families to manage hiring individuals or companies for their entire family, from kids to pets to aging parents, and even book for themselves and their home.
- We provide a “Book Now” button any service provider on CareBooker can use to turn their own website into a booking and payment platform.
- All care providers get a “webpage” with a unique URL (similar to LinkedIn) – bringing the power of SEO to service providers.
What brought you to the Stamford Innovation Center?
My husband worked across the street. Peter Propp brought him over for a tour. And then my husband brought me for a tour. It’s great to not have an office but still have a place to get work done. I’ve been here since August 2013.