Founder stories — Whystle

It’s been nearly three years since Innovate Charlotte launched with a mission to support the community of entrepreneurs in the Queen City, and here we are, in the midst of the most challenging crisis most of our founders have ever experienced. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for businesses of all sizes, and our mentors have been hard at work, conducting virtual sessions with all the founders in the INCLT mentorship program to help them find solutions to weather the storm. 

Now, we want to share some of their stories with you, the startups, founders and investors who are part of this community. Maybe you’ll learn about a new business worth watching. Perhaps there’s a way some of you can help. Maybe this could spark some powerful, albeit still virtual, connections. 

Whatever happens, we know there is value in giving our founders and startups a platform to showcase who they are and what they do. So over the past few weeks, we’ve been doing just that. 

Today, we’re catching up with Chris Wright of Whystle

Company: Whystle

Founder: Chris Wright

Year launched: 2019

Description: Whystle is a home cleaning service available at your fingertips. Homeowners can book disinfection and move-in cleanings through the company’s website. Whystle also offers special cleaning for Airbnb hosts, complete with dishwashing and fresh linens. Customers can book appointments through the Whystle app available through the App Store and Google Play. 


What’s your biggest challenge right now? 

“COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our business, unfortunately not for the positive. Logic persists that now, more than ever, that cleaning and disinfection services are paramount. But the fact remains, no one knows what to expect with this virus. During uncertain times, people are reasonably wary of introducing unknown variables into their life. Given this, Airbnb bookings have come to a halt, and some residential clients are deferring services until this blows over. Some clients have really stepped up for us and are paying our teams, even though they are cancelling the actual service. We are forever grateful for their generosity. 

“My No. 1 priority is doing whatever we can to continue to pay our people, who rely on us for income. After that, it’s ensuring they have a job to return to once life gets back to normal. It is going to be a bumpy ride, but we’ll continue to do whatever we can to make sure people remain financially secure and homes and businesses continue to remain healthy.

“To pivot, we are offering additional levels of disinfection services for individuals and essential businesses. More information can be found here and here.

“Additionally, we are offering a free bottle of medical grade disinfectant with each cleaning that is booked!”


What do you need the most help with? 

“Spreading the word about our disinfection services and connecting us with any essential businesses that can use our help. We are uniquely positioned with OSHA and CDC trained teams to provide disinfection that everyone needs right now. Anything helps right now!”


Can you share with us some good news? 

“With the slowing in business, we are taking time to rebuild our foundation and ensure we are bulletproof once this comes to an end. Additionally, we are here to help the community however we can, whether it’s disinfecting the cars of ride sharers or sharing disinfection solution with businesses. Let us know how we can be of service.”

Thank you to Kepler Team for sponsoring our storytelling efforts. For more information on the INCLT mentorship program, or any of our companies, click here to learn more