Alexandra Nestertchouk is one of Canada’s Podcasts recent guests in BC. She was raised in post USSR years in Belarus by her single mother. Entrepreneurship was running in her blood from a very young age with both her mother and grandmother being small business owners, and very strong women. Alexandra moved to Canada 11 years ago and is now a serial entrepreneur with over ten years of experience in business management and technology. She has a Business Management Degree and background in Computer Science. Alexandra was in a senior management position for a vibrant Boutique IT Consulting firm in Toronto. However, she always knew she will not continue as “9-5 employee”.
Alexandra is a mother to a now 2 1/2-year-old boy, Cosmos, and once her maternity leave came to an end, she felt a natural transition into entrepreneurship, and had stumbled upon her “big idea”.
Alexandra struggled during the first two years of motherhood, due to the social isolation and change of direction from being 100% in control to being 0% in control and tied to son’s schedule. HopKidz addresses the issue of childcare and gives control back to parents. Parents are able to search for childcare that has been screened/trusted, and available for them to drop off their child at short notice. HopKidz works closely with daycares and licensed home care providers who are willing and able to look after the children of others out of their own home. Parents can view suitable locations on the application, book online, and drop off their child in as little as 10-15 minutes. Similar to Airbnb in the sense that they work with daycare and nannies who can adapt their availability based on capacity. When a provider has an available spot it can be offered to a child on HopKids.
Alexandra used sweat equity and cell financing to get off the ground. She worked at the same time as working on her business, like so many entrepreneurs. She was also consulting and directing the income from consulting into the business. Once the business was at a pivotal point, she started looking for funding and decided to make it full time. BDC, Futurepreneur and Canadian government provided funding and support.
HopKidz is growing, and although it is only in BC currently, the vision is to go national and eventually international.
Listen to her full story, challenges, set-backs and learnings at Canada’s Podcast.