Introduction to eLab Startup: Housekept
Optimizing hotel housekeeping, Housekept is developing an innovative solution. Housekeepers often visit guests’ rooms to clean at inconvenient moments and receive requests to return at an alternate time, providing unnecessary burdens upon guests and the housekeepers. The Housekept team is streamlining this cumbersome process that affects the hospitality industry by creating software that maps out the most efficient route for housekeepers to follow based on input from indicators from a guest’s room, including Wifi usage and the thermostat. Housekept takes into consideration these data points and the blueprint of the particular hotel to produce the best course of action for housekeepers.
Pedrow Bobrow (AEM ‘20) and Pippa Thomas (CALS ‘20) began working on this model at Cornell’s 2018 Hilton Hospitality Hackathon and received first place in the competition for producing the most “frictionless” idea. Housekept was then flown out to Hilton Headquarters in Virginia, where they presented their solution to the company’s board of directors. Since their initial victory, the Housekept team, Pedro Bobrow (‘20), Pippa Thomas (‘20), Conrad McCarthy (Engineering ’19), and Christophe Gerlach (AEM ’20), have continued to enter in pitch competitions. Winning once again at the annual eLab pitch night, Housekept gained early acceptance to the eLab program and a monetary prize to assist in their development. Housekept has also received recognition from the Y Combinator and Life Changing Labs pitch competitions this past year. The Y Combinator competition specifically helped the team understand the need for the technology they are developing, a housekeeping optimization software, as well as the importance of a concrete business model.
The Housekept team was drawn to the opportunity to participate in eLab to receive the expertise and assistance needed to solve the complex problem they are set out to mitigate in the hotel industry. eLab has been instrumental in the team’s success, assisting with the startup’s initial steps and customer discovery, through the mentorship and guidance offered throughout the program. Kanaai Shah (‘20), has recently joined the Housekept team and brings his expertise in the hotel industry to navigate the team through their next step in choosing a hotel partner.
Housekept’s crucial next step is to work with a large hotel company to implement the software in its daily functions and receive real-time results. The team strives in the long-term to sell its technology to many different hotel chains in the future and become the primary solution for the hospitality industry to optimize its outdated housekeeping procedure.