#9: Creating a Smart Home That Runs Itself w/ Francois Gouelo, the 23 Year Old CEO and Co-Founder of Enso Connect

#9: Creating a Smart Home That Runs Itself w/ Francois Gouelo, the 23 Year Old CEO and Co-Founder of Enso Connect

When his Professor presented a $10,000 dollar award for the best entrepreneurial robotic solution, Francois was all ears. Inspired by a frustrating Airbnb experience where the key for the home was frozen under the mat, the host was unresponsive, and he was fined five thousand dollars for leaving a window open, Francois used his frustration to fuel his inspiration for what is now Enso Connect. In studying computer and cognitive science, he drove his idea to completion in his University of Toronto classroom. Francois Gouelo is the 25-year-old CEO and Co-founder of Enso Connect, a revolutionary guest management platform for the short term rental industry. His futuristic vision is accredited to his passion for smart homes. The power of sensors and devices existent today are underserved or underleveraged in many ways. Consider your Alexa, for example. Its potential hasn’t nearly been unlocked yet.

What is the PROBLEM that Enso Connect is solving? Time equals money. Too much time is spent managing short term rentals. On average, an account manager can only manage up to 7-10 listings, with each listing exhausting ten hours per week. Amid the thousands of problems in the short term rental ecosystem, the impact of ineffective communication on the guest experience is massive. This is a particular vertical many have not touched. The Problem for Hosts: Hosts need to reap the benefits of placing their rentals on marketplaces like Airbnb. Unfortunately, manpower is costly and requires high maintenance when delivering a quality guest experience. During the pandemic, cancellations wreaked havoc as operational costs rose and profits plummeted. Hosts further struggled to ensure their properties were leveraged in a safe and profitable manner. The Problem for Guests: Everyone has had one negative Airbnb check-in experience. Whether it’s being locked out of the Airbnb, not being able to find the wifi password, or having an unresponsive host, there is no systematic solution that currently exists. In many countries, short term rentals are banned due to complaints around bad property management.

What is Enso Connect’s SOLUTION? A guest experience management platform that unifies communication across multiple channels. Enso Connect uses a chat AI named Jarvis that is connected to all the smart home devices. Jarvis uses these smart home devices and other data to automate the entire process from pre-boarding to arranging the cleaning. The goal is to automate up to 80% of the communication through scheduled messages, welcoming instructions, restaurant recommendations, sending the wifi password, etc. Since guests repeatedly ask the same questions, these answers are automated for maximum efficiency. As a result, Enso Connect lowers operational costs so managers of short-term rentals can scale quicker. Enso Connect’s mission is to “revolutionize the travel industry by providing guests with the comfort and convenience of a hotel, while receiving the community experience of a home.”

Francois Gouelo’s LinkedIn Francois Gouelo’s Instagram Enso Connect’s Website

Discussed in this episode…
[01:00] Francois Gouelo’s story and how he got into entrepreneurship
[03:23] What Enso Connect is and its founding story
[07:48] The problem Enso Connect is solving and its iterations
[15:23] Enso Connect’s solution
[18:31] How they map out the user journey in phases
[23:42] Their business model
[30:36] Enso Connect’s vision and ultimate destiny
[33:54] Francois’s fears, doubts, and limiting beliefs/insecurities and how he overcame them
[40:00] Francois’s entrepreneurship related book or resource recommendation  
[41:43] Francois’s beliefs on whether or not we’re living in a simulation
[42:20] The one question about himself or the universe Francois would ask
[43:36] Francois’s advice to young entrepreneurs

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