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Excellence in Technology

SelectSitter is the 2019 Excellence in Technology Most Innovative Startup Award Winner

A Springfield based app, SelectSitter aims to take the guesswork out of finding a babysitter. With over 1,000 users in the area already, Sarah Howey and her partners are looking toward new ideas to expand their offerings.

By Juliana Goodwin

May 2019

Biz 417's Excellence in Tech Most Innovative Startup Award Winner: Sarah Howey of SelectSitter
Photo by Brandon AlmsMost Innovative Startup Award Winners: Adam and Sarah Howey and Kari and John Hamra of SelectSitter Purchase Photo

SelectSitter, a Springfield-based app, is taking the angst out of hiring a babysitter in Springfield, MO and surrounding areas. Launched in November 2017, the handy technology was invented to help parents find babysitters they can trust by allowing users to find and share childcare recommendations in their own social media network.

The invention is the brainchild of mom Sarah Howey, who wondered how she’d find a new babysitter when hers moved away. Howey and her husband, Adam, partnered with their friends Kari and John Hamra to launch SelectSitter, which 
already has nearly 1,000 users. 

Parents can see which sitters their friends are booking and endorsing as well as see a sitter’s availability and set their own price when submitting a job request. It’s free to download and use, and the owners are adding an in-app payment feature so parents don’t have to worry about carrying cash; they can pay their sitter through the app. “Parents who use it, love it,” Sarah says. “We get suggestions for additional features, which we hope we will be able to add, but we will not do that until in-app payment takes off.” Based on feedback from users, Howey is working on adding an icon inside the app to indicate if babysitters are pet sitters, too. Stay tuned for more possibilities.

RUNNERS UP  //  Easy Access Hunts  •  FiTbyPhase, LLC

NAILED IT

“Providing the service to parents based on their feedback so they can pay within the app.”—Sarah Howey, SelectSitter

FAILED IT

“We thought we were going to be able to launch in-app payments in December and had a couple of things come up, so we are three months later than we hoped. We jumped the gun on announcing that.”—Sarah Howey, SelectSitter