Genevieve Thiers started Sittercity.com, which pioneered online matchmaking of families and caregivers, in 2001 while she was a college student in Boston.
“I came up with the idea for Sittercity because I’m the oldest of seven kids and I’ve been babysitting my entire life,” she told Blue Sky. “I was about to graduate Boston College and this pregnant mother was trudging up these steps posting a flier looking for a sitter. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was one place, like an online dating service, where you could find all the caregivers in your area.”
The site matches families around the country with babysitters, pet sitters, and elder caregivers. She moved the business to Chicago in 2002 so that she could study opera at Northwestern University. She earned a master’s degree in music performance in 2004.
In March 2015, Thiers, who is also a practicing opera singer, launched High Note Enterprises, an investment fund focused on female entrepreneurs.
She is a mentor at startup incubator Techstars Chicago and serves on the board of 1871. She is also involved with the Goodman Innovation Group, a tech-focused collective at the Goodman Theatre that bridges technology and the arts.
She lives in Chicago with her husband and business partner Dan Ratner and their children.