Meet Tony Hill, one of our most caregiving members. He is one of the Cofounders of Carepass, a child care app, years in the making. Read on to learn about his journey and how his team came to build Carepass.
Q: What is your background – Where do you get your ideas from?
My background is in corporate finance but, several years ago, I made the jump into tech when I launched a fintech platform called PE-Nexus. That’s also when I met our CTO, Igor, with whom I co-founded both PE-Nexus and Carepass. After exiting PE-Nexus, Igor and I spent the next few years brainstorming what our next venture would be and, eventually, stumbled upon the idea that today is Carepass.
In our case, usually out of a necessity of some kind. Carepass was a classic case of necessity being the mother of invention. In essence, shortly after my first daughter was born, my wife and I learned the hard way how limited parents’ options are when they need last-minute, short-term, or flexible childcare arrangements.
Q: Tell us about your company.
Carepass is a groundbreaking mobile platform which connects unused capacity at licensed daycares and preschools with parents seeking safe, flexible and affordable backup or short-term care. Carepass gives parents access to an always-on network of vetted child care centers, while care providers get a much-needed, turnkey revenue stream and marketing tool.
Q: What made you want to create an app – How long did it take?
When you look at our business model and vision, a mobile interface made by far the most sense. We don’t just want to empower families with a whole new source of safe and reliable child care. We also want to make it easy and convenient, and that’s what mobile is all about. Plus, in the event of an emergency, we want parents to have instant access to our childcare network. The best way to achieve that was with a mobile app.
We began working on Carepass in earnest about one year ago; however, from start to finish, it took us about nine months to build and release our MVP (minimum viable product).
Q: Where does Carepass mostly get their profits from?
Currently, we generate revenue from both parents AND child care centers. Down the line, we see other logical and compelling growth avenues we want to explore.
Q: Are you thinking about expanding your business to other places other than South Florida?
Absolutely! Our vision is for Carepass to become a national – and someday international – network that families can rely upon wherever they are and whenever they need it. Before we can do that, though, we need to really perfect the app, business model, and story as much as possible in a controlled environment, which is what we’re doing right now. That being said, we’ve already been contacted by centers outside of Florida completely out of the blue wanting to learn more and join. So, I’m very optimistic about our prospects for expansion when the time comes.
Q: In order to be a care provider for Carepass what are the qualifications?
First and foremost, to be eligible to join, care providers must be licensed, with their license active and in good standing. Second, their most recent inspection report cannot have any class 1 violations on it. Third, we visit every prospective center in person and meet with their owner/administrator to run our own checks and assess general compatibility with Carepass’ mission and values.
Q: Why did you choose to work at a Coworking space – What is your favorite thing about The LAB?
For startups, in particular, coworking spaces are both a godsend and a no-brainer. You just can’t beat the cost, flexibility and, above all else, networking value they offer.
We picked The Lab Miami for two reasons: first, it’s Miami’s OG coworking space, the one that started it all! Second, Igor and I have a deep affinity for Wynwood – after all, we launched our first startup here eight years ago – so it’s all good and fun to be back here again launching Carepass.
Q: Everytime someone books a care center on your app who gets the profit? Carepass, the care center or both?
Great question. Our business model is about as simple as it gets. From parents, we charge a $1.50 “booking fee” whenever they reserve care. From care providers, we keep 10% of the value of the booking and they keep the rest.
Q: If you have kids, have you used your own app to book childcare?
I’m proud to say that I have, and it went great! I took my daughter to a preschool near Pinecrest called Sol Academy and she was so enthralled by the new environment, the new kids, and the new playground, that she didn’t want to leave! We’re planning another Carepass visit next month at Coral Gables Preschool on Giralda.
Q: Last but not lastly, where do you see your company in 5 years?
In five years, I expect our trusted child care network to run coast to coast in the U.S., and I’d like to already be in a few foreign markets, on our way to being a true global child care passport.
Now with Carepass flexible childcare is available at any time. The mobile platform connects parents to licensed daycares and preschools in the South Florida area. Tony Hill and his team have made it easier for parents who have stumbled across an unplanned event. In the near future, Carepass is looking to expand and help many more families internationally and globally!
By: Joanna Menjivar