What product or service does your business offer?
Go Gig brings the gig economy to the hospitality industry by connecting hotels with verified and trained housekeepers. Our service gives individuals direct control over their pay, schedule, and work setting. Simultaneously, Go Gig provides hotels with a network of on-demand workers to hire on an as needed basis without the hassle or cost of hiring and maintaining full-time employees.
How did you come up with the idea for this business?
The business concept was initially developed in Dean Graf’s Ideation - Value Creation course in the fall of 2021. Students were asked to analyze trends and identify potential market opportunities. Chloe noticed that the pandemic exacerbated the hospitality industry’s labor issues. Many hospitality workers that were furloughed or laid off during the pandemic were unwilling to return to the industry when demand for travel returned. Traditionally, working in hotel operations does not provide schedule flexibility or control over one’s hourly wage, so she thought of a disruptive business concept that would bring the gig economy to the hospitality industry. Chloe and Caroline started working together to conceptualize how the service could be applied specifically to housekeeping. The goal is to first concentrate on one specific area of hospitality, but we plan to expand to other positions in the future.
Why did you decide to participate in the HI Hub Incubator program?
The more we worked on our assignment, the more enthralled we became about the idea. Ultimately, we decided that we had to turn Go Gig from an idea in a classroom into a reality. The HI Hub Incubator program was the perfect place for us to embark on this journey. We are honored to be selected and look forward to soaking up every bit of knowledge and know-how that we can from our mentors.
What do you enjoy most about creating your own startup business?
Creating a startup comes with many challenges, but that is what we love about it! Every day presents new opportunities to think outside the box as we develop the business. Majority of hotel housekeepers in the US are women, but they are paid less than their male counterparts on average. We are motivated by the thought that we can enable women to take control over their pay, schedule, and work setting.
What advice would you give to someone contemplating founding a startup?
It’s okay (and often very helpful) to adjust your ideas. When starting Go Gig, there were aspects of the business that we thought we were set on. However, as we’ve continued to develop the business concept further, we have had to make changes. Our advice is to keep an open mind and always be willing to make changes to your business model along the way. Adaptability is key! Having this mentality from the outset will help you create a more agile, future-proofed business.
What is something you learned through this process that you wish you’d known before you created your startup?
Early on, we were hesitant to talk about the idea with others because we didn’t have anything proprietary. However, we now know that it is not an idea that makes a business - it is dedication, creativity, and hard work. By leveraging our network, we have had the opportunity to talk to many high-level hospitality professionals that have asked questions, provided insight, and lent their expertise. Although you want to protect your idea, it is important to get input from your network to make the business the best it can be.
What does the future of your startup look like in an ideal world?
Go Gig will first concentrate on housekeeping, likely in one city. However, we have aspirations to grow the business to other hotel and restaurant positions across the US and abroad. In an ideal world, our service will help those looking for work in the hospitality industry as a primary or supplementary form of income take control over their own schedule and pay. We plan to work closely with hotels and restaurants to ensure we provide mutual benefit to both employers and those looking for work in hotel operations.
Have you worked with any alumni or mentors on this project? If so, who and what was that experience like?
As we mentioned earlier, Go Gig was developed during Dean Graf’s Ideation - Value Creation course at NYU. The support we have gotten from Dean Graf has been tremendously helpful. His perspective and encouragement has helped push us to work to make Go Gig an actual business. We are excited to work with our knowledgeable mentors through this incubator. The input we have received from them so far has been invaluable, and we are so appreciative for the opportunity to work with such established professionals.