FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Prontopia Addresses Critical Labor Supply Shortages in Paid Caregiving and Tourism
Innovative technology platform centered on cultivating empathy and human connection SANTA BARBARA, CA – August 16, 2021 – Prontopia, a Santa Barbara-based human services start-up, is upending the gig economy by providing caregiving and travel businesses with access to a flexible and trusted local assistance workforce. This helps older adults age safely at home and allows travelers to be safe and feel welcome abroad.
Technology companies have failed to sufficiently focus on incentivizing people to work in health and human services jobs that are essential to a healthy society and economy, such as paid caregiving. Prontopia is filling these gaps with human services technology solutions that provide better care for all by putting people first.
Founder and CEO Shannon Kenny claims actual people and human interaction are missing from existing technology solutions. “Prontopia is putting people back in the equation because human services are tragically hard to come by in the digital age,” Kenny explained.
She claims existing providers of those incomplete solutions, in turn, are falling short for all stakeholders, including front-line workers, service-sector businesses, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and – most importantly – those in need of caregiving and assistance services. “Being there in person to offer support services is critically important for older adults and families with children,” Kenny said. “This includes both care needs at home and when traveling,” she added.
Kenny emphasizes the virtualization of care services is simply insufficient for most people. “In large part, technology companies have sacrificed human connection to minimize human effort.” Kenny observed. “The fact remains that there are essential areas of our economy – such as caregiving – that require investment in people as the first principal factor to succeed in filling critical service gaps today.”
Prontopia’s people-powered mission saw a dramatic acceleration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company initially launched in 2019 as a platform for travelers in Europe to access on-demand help from trusted local assistants. Local residents soon began using the platform for help as well, especially those over age 65. The onset of the pandemic in Italy in March 2020 led the company to adapt immediately in cooperation with local authorities to assist older adults with simple tasks at home. Those tasks included help with errands, technology troubleshooting, home organizing, pet care and companionship. Later in 2020, Prontopia expanded to California.
As labor supply shortages and service gaps during the pandemic revealed how limiting workforce issues can be to businesses in meeting their full market potential in eldercare and travel, Prontopia launched the Powered by Prontopia B2B solution in March 2021. Powered by Prontopia is a subscription-based service that allows businesses to access a flexible and trusted local assistance workforce to ensure they can meet their clients’ needs and expand the services they offer to meet the full extent of community caregiving and traveler support needs.
Prontopia’s proprietary Blue Wolf Platform utilizes seven stages of optimization in the process of identifying, recruiting, screening, onboarding, retaining, and ultimately managing local assistants. Blue Wolf converts candidates at a rate that is 17% higher than current industry alternatives by harnessing disruptive trends that are at the vanguard of transformational shifts in how people work. Prontopia local assistants are then provided with opportunities to upskill and pursue career development opportunities to become licensed caregivers or pursue skilled training in the hospitality industry.
The Prontopia team dubbed the platform “Blue Wolf” to honor the legacy of Kenny’s mother, Carolyn Kenny, in the field of indigenous women’s leadership. Kenny often reflects on the significance of elder wisdom.
“Technology today has gone too far in disconnecting us from the land and from each other,” Kenny emphasized. “We have time-hallowed stories that show us a path toward creating sustainable technology solutions that restore nature – and within nature, humanity – as the focus.”
About Prontopia Prontopia creates human services technologies that put people back into the equation. Powered by Prontopia software and recruitment solutions enable eldercare and travel businesses to access an on-demand local assistance workforce, ensuring flexible, affordable, in-person help is always just a click away for clients. Prontopia local assistants earn meaningful extra income helping older adults and travelers in their local communities, and gain access to upskilling opportunities that advance gig economy work into careers that make a difference. Prontopia is a public benefit corporation focused on fostering human connection and empathy around the globe to drive the sustainable development goals of providing decent work and economic growth, creating sustainable cities and communities, and encouraging responsible consumption and production.
Prontopia is an online service that provides friendly, in-person help from pre-vetted local assistants in city centers in Italy, Spain and the U.S.