For most businesses, the hard work that happens behind the scenes is key to functionality. Facilities and maintenance work is crucial across a variety of industries, from tech, to manufacturing, and the commercial space. To increase operational efficiency and streamline system management, Akron startup TonDone has created a tech-enabled platform to support these important roles.
“We’re a piece of software that helps the folks behind the scenes run and operate all the places you frequent,” CEO and Co-Founder Matt Crowley said. “Whether you’re going for a coffee at Starbucks or shopping at the mall, someone has to go in and clean bathrooms, change light bulbs, and make sure those facilities are good and safe for people to enter. Our app and software helps those teams handle the work behind the scenes and operate efficiently so they can get their work done and get those buildings ready for each day.”
Co-Founders Crowley and Bill Wichert first conceptualized the idea for the platform while working at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. In a place with a constant flow of people, the high level of facility usage required precise scheduling for maintenance work. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and airport operations halted, Crowley and Wichert expanded into the general facility maintenance space.
“The original product was going to be audio-based AI dispatching for employees to help airport maintenance folks and janitors be able to move around the airport without touching a device,” Crowley said. “Then right after COVID hit, no one was flying, and we spent time thinking about the other industries we could help with this app. The issue we’re solving is a systemic problem of scheduling all moving parts in facilities and empowering frontline employees to be self-sufficient.”
For employees using TonDone, the phone app shows their daily schedule with a series of tasks they are assigned to. From there, they can select individual tasks to track time and location information. The platform holds other important information as well, such as supervisor contact information, facility maps, and job-specific documents. Most importantly, it streamlines scheduling.
“We’ve kept the platform streamlined for the frontline employee while making it more robust on the backend for managers and owners,” he said. “It’s a full business management suite where you can track your employees’ schedule, who’s moving where, and drag and drop their calendar just like Google Calendar. It also tracks your metrics and makes those available to business owners on the website.”
Crowley was well-versed in building testing software when he and his co-founder started TonDone, but he credits Bounce Innovation Hub and Valley Growth Ventures as some of the key Ohio investors that provided the startup with the resources it needed to sell and market their technology. Through these organizations and local networking, TonDone was able to raise its seed round and further scale the business for its next phase.
“We needed a strong bench of folks that we could rely on to ask questions and give us brutally honest answers,” Crowley said. “Jeanine Black, James Hilton, and the team at Bounce have been with us since late 2020 as our local accelerator, and Valley Growth Ventures was our lead investor in our most recent funding round. There are a lot of good people with great experience in Ohio for any startup that wants to scale and grow with amazing resources.”