The Startup of the month is an initiative of the Quartier de l’innovation (QI) in collaboration with Development Canada. Each month a jury, composed by two members of the QI and one invited judge, choose the winning startup within more of 250 enterprises who had subscribed to the Quartier de l’innovation’s Startup Index. This month, the honorary judge was Laurentia Perrin, project manager at Impact 8, a startup accelerator from l'Esplanade.
Marie-Pier Hébert first became aware of the lack of childcare services when working in the hospitality industry. “We very often received requests from clients who wanted to book a babysitter during their stay. But the service didn’t exist.”
Indeed, in a world where online services are increasing, parents who need to have their little ones looked after still depend on what Hébert calls “old school” practices. This leaves little latitude to parents, who must wait for a babysitter in their network to become available before making plans. She never forgot this observation. “I wanted to change that and offer a solution that would make parents' (already very intense) lives easier.” So she began her business plan and got started.
This marked the birth of Kiid, an innovative online babysitter booking service. The concept is simple: parents are invited to select their neighbourhood in Montréal, then the dates and times they will be absent. They then have access to a bank of babysitters with availability that corresponds to their needs. And the babysitters have been recruited with great care. “Babysitters have an extremely important role,” says Kiid's founder. “We recruit experienced, willing babysitters who love children. Smiling people with sweet personalities who are reliable and flexible!”
Always with the idea of simplifying parenting, the Kiid team checks each sitter’s references and background. They also all have first aid and CPR training.
As with most online booking sites, it is possible to rate the experience with the babysitter. This rating method gives parents peace of mind when they make their choice. Payment is made online and the babysitter’s transportation is included. In addition, the service guarantees a babysitter within 24 hours, and accommodates last minute requests in 95% of cases, according to Marie-Pier Hébert. We’re a long way from “old school” babysitting.
Indeed, the founder of Kiid has a lot of experience with efficiency. She has worked ten years in operations management, holding several management positions in the hospitality industry, on four continents. “To date, I have managed a total of eleven hotel and restaurant openings. These experiences are very similar to starting a business and have enriched my professional background,” she says.
What is she most proud of? Having created a platform that works after taking the risk of leaving the stability offered by her full-time jobs. All while being pregnant with her first child. “Managing a startup and having a baby is not easy!”
Marie-Pier Hébert launched Kiid just a year ago, in February 2018. She already wants to accommodate even more overwhelmed parents by expanding outside Montréal to other major Quebec regions.