Soon, millennials might be forced to adopt a new moniker – the sandwich generation. For 42- to 27-year-olds, caring for their aging parents and their children puts them right in the middle of new challenges they may feel unequipped to handle on their own. Fortunately, Cleveland startup OndeCare is solving that problem by connecting experienced caregivers with the people who need them via an on-demand platform.
“OndeCare is a tech-enabled service organization, and we built this solution based on the needs of both our professional caregivers and clients,” Founder and CEO Nicole Paolozzi said. “Our Heroes provide on-demand, in-home care for all ages and all needs – we have nurses and nurse’s aides, direct support professionals, doulas – you name it, we can provide support.”
How it works is simple. As a client, you create a “job” describing who is in need of care, as well as the timing and your desired services. The OndeCare platform then employs an algorithm developed to match top-ranked, vetted Heroes with clients who are best suited to each other’s needs.
“Our Heroes have control of rates, schedules, when they work, who they work for, and what they get paid, and it’s the same with our clients,” Paolozzi said. “OndeCare was born from a need I’ve acutely felt myself. I was a single mom with a demanding job, and that’s when I started dreaming about a business that would leverage the services of someone I implicitly trusted while I balanced the demands of my job.”
It wasn’t until years later that she realized her challenges were felt by a growing group of people. Millennials and other generations are now adapting to an increased need for caregiving services. As that demand has grown, so has OndeCare’s footprint, and the platform is continuing to scale its offerings.
“Once I operationalized OndeCare, I saw how the need for caregiving affects everyone, from parents looking for child care, to those with special needs, and those who need assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, or making meals,” Paolozzi said. “To expand access to our services, we also have a B2B platform that calculates ROI for employers, so they know what they will save before they choose to subsidize their care and add benefits, a perk of ours that University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic offer to their employees.”
For Paolozzi, the reviews and positive responses from Heroes and clients alike have been the most rewarding part of cultivating the platform. Throughout her journey, local resources, such as Innovation Fund’s GLIDE program, a partner of Ohio Third Frontier, helped her to secure funding, while she also built a foundation for success at the Cleveland branch of accelerator gBETA and TechStars Future of Longevity.
“There are plenty of resources in Ohio,” she said. “The connections I built through GLIDE and these accelerators really helped me to figure out what was most important. Fostering these kinds of relationships makes me so excited. There’s important work happening here in our entrepreneurial ecosystem, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”