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Meet Olivia Weinstock of Tandem

Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Weinstock. 

Hi Olivia, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
Growing up, I loved kids and couldn’t wait to be old enough to officially become a babysitter. I started to kickstart the process by starting a camp in my backyard at the age of 10. My little sisters and her friends were our first campers and each year, the camp grew. By the end of high school, we had over 100 kids running around in my backyard each summer. Alongside learning to manage the chaos of 100 preschool-aged kids, this camp helped me to build a trusted network of families in my community. This network allowed me to work for a variety of local families and make recommendations to them for other care providers when I was unavailable. I saw how powerful a trust-based recommendation could be. I realized there was a real need here, and I started connecting families and care providers more officially. Strong initial traction lead me to believe there was a viable business model at the root of the connections I was making between people. I decided to scale up my efforts and build a tech-based solution that could connect more people, but still without any fees. With the help of our investors, I connected with my two co-founders, Ohio State engineering students at the time. They built out our first product which launched in January 2020. Since then, we’ve build a user base of over 11,000 in Columbus and recently expanded to Cincinnati and Cleveland. Along the way, we’ve kept our core mission at the root of everything we’ve done: to connect as many people as possible with trust as the foundation. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We’re the first people to build this specific company, Tandem. The obstacles we’ve faced has made the company what it is today. Without challenges, constant feedback, and consistent iteration, we wouldn’t be able to continue to improve the user’s experience. A few big challenges come to mind. We launched our product in January 2020, right before COVID. We don’t really know what our company looks like without COVID, but launching right before lockdown didn’t exactly give us the feedback we were looking for from our official launch. We had to wait to see what people would be comfortable with and sure enough, activity on the platform started to increase as people realized they still needed help. That said, our journey has not been linear as a result. In the fall of 2020, we worked to connect families with educators for at-home learning. We had not prepared to move into tutoring or education this early, but we learned how important it is to take queues from the market. Our users were telling us that this was their biggest need, so we adjusted to accommodate. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Tandem connects families with child care, house cleaning, and pet care for free. We’re the only platform that is completely fee-free, allowing users a frictionless experience. 80% of our business is child care – this is where we started and most of our business is still here. That means date night babysitting, full-time nannying, after-school care, etc. We quickly realized that the care providers on our platform had skills beyond child care. They were interested in house cleaning, pet care, etc. By supplying care providers with high pay, flexible jobs and allowing them to work autonomously, we’ve created an active network. This allows families to find lots of options for their needs, fast. We’ve eliminated the typical barriers of services marketplace, enabling our users to create long-term relationships while continuing to use our site. They have no reason to leave because families are not being charged for their use, and workers are not losing a percentage of their earnings in the transaction. 

What are your plans for the future?
We recently expanded to Cincinnati and Cleveland and these markets are growing at a fast pace. We plan to continue to scale beyond Ohio – we’ve proven that our model works in one area and success can be replicated in others. We also know that care and household needs are universal, not geographically bounded, and we want to connect as many people as possible with these needs. We also recently started servicing businesses. We were approached by a few different childcare centers who needed help with staffing. They wanted to know if they could use Tandem to find staff for their center (daycares and preschools). We leaned into this demand and built a product for businesses so they can sign up, post jobs, view care providers, hire and pay just like families. Since then, we’ve onboarded almost 30 local child care centers. We plan to continue to expand this offering as we reach more child care center and eventually, partner with other business types that need similar help. 

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