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Meet Rockstart Spaces Members: Holiday-Sitters

You may have seen the team of Holiday-Sitters working in the canteen (we did!).  Recently they’ve moved out of the canteen and onto Floor 2.5.  They also participated in Amsterdam edition of Rockstart Answers a few months ago and pitched the audience for advice.  Read below to find out about where their business is today and what they’ve taken away from their Rockstart experience.

Please tell us a little about yourselves:

We are 3 founders: Ela Slutski, Galit Bauer and Mathieu Garnier

Ela Slutski is Holiday-Sitters CEO.  Ela was born in Russia and immigrated to Israel when she was 19 and has been living in Amsterdam for the last 8 years.  Her  extensive background in IT software sales includes working across Europe, US and Israel.

Galit Bauer’s role is COO.  She’s a Human Resources veteran with over 15 years experience in carefully selecting and placing the right people in organizations.  Prior to co-founding Holiday-Sitters, Galit served as a Global Human Resource Manager in different multinational corporates where she gained extensive business experience focused on a range of human resource-related disciplines.

CMO Mathieu Garnier is seasoned art director and creative director and is responsible for Holiday-Sitters online platform and branding and communication.   He’s worked in advertising for 11 years first in traditional media (TV and print) and adding digital media to his skills over the last 7 years.   He’s helped lead and create campaign for global (as well as local ) clients in a wide range of industries including Nike, Volkswagen, Vodafone, Heineken, Clinique, booking.com to name a few. 

What does your startup do?

Holiday-Sitters is an online babysitting service designed for families traveling or temporarily living in Europe with their children. Our vision is to become the virtual Mary Poppins for parents on the go, with babysitting service, renting children’s essentials and more.

What was your inspiration behind your startup?

Our inspiration came from the personal need, literally, during family holidays.  We missed some adult time when we couldn’t find anyone who would speak our language and whom we could trust. That’s how Holiday-Sitters was born.

What problem is your startup solving?

HolidaySitters addresses the challenge of finding a trusted sitter, who speaks the kidsmother tongue, in a foreign city. Traveling with kids is not all smiles and rainbows. We understand that parents need to take a break while on family holiday, to enjoy a quiet dinner, a walk on the beach or even just a night for themselves. Parents are also allowed to forget thing or two or just be able to travel light, without packing half of the house. We solving the problem of each and every parent out there by simply providing options.

Can you describe a customer use case?

It’s quite simple really: Our customers either hear about us from hotels or find us online, go to our easy to use website, find a sitter who matches their criteria in terms of date, time and language and book. At this stage, the customer is require to login using Facebook or Google or email credentials and proceed to online payment. It is that simple. Our sitter receives a notification as well as our team. After confirmation from the sitter the process is complete and our customers can enjoy their time out.

How did you come to be a part of Rockstart Answers?

By being a part of the Rockstart Community as well as resident, we heard about Rockstart Answers and decide to apply. After applying, we were selected and became a part of Rockstart Answers.

What was the benefit of participating in Answers to your business (ie what was your burning question and did it get answered?)

We were at a very beginning when we participated in Rockstart Answers. It was very interesting to receive a constructive feedback about our business and strategy. Our question wasn’t answered, but not because of the event itself but more because it was very broad and difficult question to answer. We understand this today. Having said that, we met very interesting people who gave us useful advice plus we enjoyed working with the Rockstart team.

What was it like working in the canteen at Rockstart?

We worked in the canteen for 6 months and it was good experience. The only thing that a bit more difficult for us is the lunch break, during which you basically had to stop working and move somewhere else.

Where are you now?

We are located now in the 2 and half floor in Rockstart offices.

What’s up for Holiday-Sitters in 2017?

A lot is going to happen with Holiday-Sitters in 2017, I must say this will be the crucial year for us. We going to expand our services, probably make more changes. We also going to apply for the Rockstart Web&Mobile Accelerator, so really a lot of exciting things ahead of us.

Do you have any advice for startups, especially for women founders?
I think everyone have their own way, it’s a long, painful but rewarding process. For women founders I would say it might be even harder but don’t give up, believe in your dream and stay true to yourself. You will hear a lot of things during this process about what you need to do and how you need to do it and don’t get me wrong, adjustment is an importing thing, but don’t forget that you are the one behind this and who is driving this and no one else, so make your decisions, rely on your team and stay confident.

To learn more about Holiday-Sitters, visit their website.


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