Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Notre Dame start-up pivots to provide health care workers with free vacation stays post-pandemic


By David Schwartz
Published: May 12th, 2020

A University of Notre Dame start-up aims to help health care workers and first responders cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, offering free vacation stays once the crisis has ended.

Tradelasts began as a membership-based vacation service through which homeowners offer the use of their residences and vacation homes in exchange for points that can be used to stay at another member’s home during their own vacations. But according to founder Pier White, business came to a “grinding halt” at the onset of the pandemic.

“We were in the process of working with investors, recruiting members, building out our tech platform and beginning to launch initial marketing efforts, when the nation and the travel industry shut down,” says White. “Not a good time to launch a travel-oriented business.”

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, White says he got the idea to shift his business to help COVID-19 health care workers by comparing their experience to the difficulties veterans have faced when returning home after traumatic experiences overseas.

“When this is over, it’s going to be tough for them to get back to normal,” says White. “A free vacation where they can escape to a beautiful place and relax with family is a great way to start the personal healing process. Tradelasts is positioned to make this happen.”

The start-up is seeking vacation homeowners to donate their residences, even if they aren’t Tradelasts members. It is also encouraging the public to nominate any medical personnel they might know for vacation stays.

“There are many people hurting right now because of the medical and economic fallout from the pandemic,” White adds. “As a society we need a lot of healing and helping our healthcare heroes heal from this crisis is something we can rally around. Every little bit helps.” Source: https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/42098855/notre-dame-startup-aims-to-provide-vacations-for-healthcare-workers

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