September 2, 2016
While on the road to finding the global Startup Of The Year, we’re on a mission to feature and highlight as many rising stars as possible. From tech and hardware, to entrepreneurs improving the accessibility of health information, each month dozens of new startups try to breakout and create an impact in their industry.
This week we spoke to Kango, a service that connects parents to background checked professionals who can transport kids or provide childcare.
Meet Kango from San Francisco California
Kango is an app-based service that enables you to schedule rides and childcare for kids, from preschool to high school. Whether your child needs a ride to school every Monday or needs to get to soccer practice everyday after school, you can trust Kango to help get your kids where they need to go.
If asked about your core values, what would you say when asked why do you do what you do (as an organization)?
Commitment and Integrity.
We are, as a company founded and run by parents, deeply committed to serving the needs of our customers – who entrust the transportation and care of their children to us. Our standards of service are extremely high, from safety screening of drivers to round-the-clock customer service and same-day ride fulfillment.
Integrity is key to earning customers' and drivers' trust. Kango provides transportation for families' most precious cargo, so trust is essential.
What has been one of your largest challenges as an organization, and how did you overcome it?
Demand for Kango has been extremely strong, to the point where we exceeded all our growth projections in a short period of time. We had to adjust very quickly in order to scale, while remaining true to all our safety procedures. The solution was a combination of additional team members with ridesharing operations and driver recruiting experience, process optimization, and systems improvements to move as quickly as possible.
In one word, how would you describe yourself as a leader?
Passionate. I strive to lead by conviction and by example. Both my team and Kango customers can tell that I genuinely care about helping modern families safely get their kids where they need to go. I've been screened as a Kango driver too! In a pinch I've been known to jump in the car myself, and drive a customer's child who needed a last-minute ride.
What is the best piece of advice or quote you've ever received regarding running a business?
Anything is possible if you persevere. Never give up!
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
I am passionate about solving the problem of safe transportation and childcare for kids – so that parents and kids can pursue their dreams without sacrificing each other.
Too many parents – mothers especially – end up quitting their jobs or scaling back their careers because they can't make it work. It's a challenge that I personally struggled with earlier on in my career, as I was working at another startup when I became a parent. I tried every possible schedule permutation. With Kango's Rides and Care for Kids service, I want to help end that struggle for as many families as possible. It's one reason why Kango – unlike any other service – provides rides and care for kids of any age, even if they need a car seat or booster seat – and even preschoolers. The challenge doesn't start when kids reach the age of 9 or 10. It's as soon as you become a parent and your child needs to go places outside the home.
So, when parents tell us that Kango enables them to go back to work or to return to school for a second degree – or that it makes it possible for their child to attend the right school or to pursue a dream of excellence in sports – that motivates me to get up in the morning!
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