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They pitched Spirit their idea, and we liked it.
Here’s how Lynn Perkins, co-founder and CEO of UrbanSitter, describes the online find-a-sitter service: “After friends’ dinner plans were derailed by a last-minute babysitter cancellation, I asked myself why finding a sitter couldn’t be as easy as making a restaurant reservation online. At UrbanSitter, we integrate with Facebook to find babysitters your friends use and recommend, then we show you a list of all the sitters who are available when you need them. At the very top, you’ll see sitters you or your friends have used, then we list ones who’ve babysat for families at your kids’ school. If you’re traveling, we use different criteria, but we always sort results so that the top-qualified sitters appear first. You book them the same way you’d book a dinner reservation with OpenTable, and our new mobile app makes sure sitters get paid at evening’s end without the awkwardness of digging through your wallet for cash. We started last year with 40 sitters and 40 parents. Since then, we’ve grown to more than 6,000 sitters and 12,000 parents in a dozen cities, and we’re expanding as fast as we can. Lots of people ask me, ‘Why didn’t anyone do this before?’ That’s the best question you could ask an entrepreneur, because it means there’s really a need there.”
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