Garry Levin (CEO at hocaboo) about his startup and the story behind the future of hospitality
Please introduce yourself and your startup hocaboo to our readers!
Thanks for having me! hocaboo is the future of hospitality recruiting – mobile, interactive and easy-to-use. We basically want to transform the way hotels and employees in this industry find each other. At the moment it is still quite difficult for job seekers to find vacancies and it surely is way too expensive for hotels to find new talents. We’re on the verge of radically changing this.
How did you get the idea behind hocaboo?
Funny story: About a year ago I attended an alumni event of my university and met up with former graduates that also work in hospitality. We talked about our careers and one of them told me: „Garry, I want to make the next step, I´d go wherever necessary to boost my career!“ While he said this I looked around the room and found that half of the people were staring at their smartphones. That was the magic moment.
How did the founding team get together?
I started hocaboo with a friend I knew back from high school – Felix. Just as me, he´s also not a tech expert. However, Felix introduced me to Julius a long time friend of his who is a mathematician and just the guy we needed. Thomas completed the founding team and with several years of management experience at Ritz-Carlton he now is serving as our COO.
How fast does hocaboo grow?
Faster than we expected. We started off in March and now have over 120 international hotels working with hocaboo – all while in beta! Most importantly, the fact that these hotels hire people through hocaboo is what matters most to us. This is the proof of concept we needed and the first step towards raising a substantial A-series.
How difficult was the start and what challenges did you have to overcome?
When I talk to people who have already managed a startup and ask them the same question they tell me: You got to make sure you´re working with the right people. I can totally relate and always had the impression our team was special. That´s probably the reason why we bootstrapped the entire business until last month. We simply have faith and confidence. This helps a lot -whatever challenge you have to overcome.
What is the USP of your startup?
There are a few and I try to avoid breaking it down to just one but if you want my honest answer: Being bold is our USP. We started hocaboo as an app-only service because we´re convinced that mobile is key. Quite a lot of people tried to talk us out of it but we now see that we were right. Being bold also is true if you take a look at our business model. We came up with a revolutionary system called Pay-Per-Match™ which is basically bold to the bone. We only earn money if there is a match between candidate and employer. Simple, straightforward and with a high disruptive potential!
Who is the target audience?
Our claim says it all: Boosting Hotels and Careers. hocaboos service is tailor-made for hotels and people working in the hospitality industry. 1 out of every 11 jobs on this planet is related to our niche. It´s a niche but it´s a big one and it keeps getting bigger and will grow by 120m people within the next 8 years.
A typical workday of you?
Being on the phone! (laughs) Seriously, I really enjoy talking to people and it´s my biggest inspiration! After all I´m a hospitality guy.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Making a difference is a huge motivation and just as right now, I see myself in a position affecting other peoples lives. At this moment hospitality talents are using our app to chat with their future employers. Essentially we´re shaping careers and lives. This is a major responsibility and we know it.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on their way?
Be experimental. Try new stuff, keep exploring and never get lazy. Be flexible. If you see that a strategy doesn’t seem to work, try to find out why and change it. But most importantly: Be bold!
Thank you Garry Levinfor the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.