Entrepreneur

How to Launch a Business in the Sharing Economy

Here are five factors to consider when starting a Airbnb-type platform.
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As a tech executive who often traveled on business, Aaron Easterly was constantly asking friends and family to care for Caramel, his beloved Pomeranian. “I would never take her to a kennel, so I’d go frantically down the list of family, friends and neighbors every time a business trip came up,” he says. “This was just one of those areas that felt frustratingly broken.”

Intrigued by the growing popularity of peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb and Uber, Easterly sensed that there was an untapped market for other dog owners who didn’t wish to utilize commercial kennels or daycare services.

In 2011 he launched Seattle-based Rover, which connects pet owners needing boarding or sitting services with a network of prescreened dog lovers for hire. Today, Rover has roughly 25,000 approved sitters in more than 5,000 U.S. cities.

Easterly is not alone. After seeing how Airbnb and Uber can turn any house into a hotel and any car into a cab, many entrepreneurs have been hoping to discover the next peer-to-peer market—one they can leverage

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