Tampa Startup Hopes to Create More Inclusion and Tolerance in Home-Sharing


The Tampa-based home-sharing startup Innclusive is seeking to combat discrimination found on platforms like Airbnb, reports Tierra Smith in the Tampa Bay Times.

Entrepreneurs Rohan Gilkes and Zakiyyah Myers were inspired to create Innclusive following Gilkes’ frustrating encounter with Airbnb.

Gilkes was attempting to locate an available place to stay in Idaho but was turned down for both requests he made on Airbnb. Gilkes, who is black, asked a white friend to try, and she was quickly approved for the same locations.

When Gilkes shared his frustrations on social media, he received over 2,000 messages from people who had similar experiences, being turned down because of race, sexual orientation, gender, and religion.

Gilkes hopes that Innclusive will be able to hold hosts accountable for potentially discriminatory patterns. “We want people that understand we attract a very diverse collection of people from a range of backgrounds,” he said. “They must commit to treating people fairly.”

Innclusive currently has a website with a landing homepage and is working on developing a full platform, which they hope to launch this month. They are also developing a mobile app. The site has 100,000 subscribers and 200,000 properties, and has made over $250,000 in revenue so far.

Read the Tampa Bay Times article here.

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Written by Audrey Pitcher

Audrey Pitcher is a Media and Communications Studies major at Ursinus College. Ve is a board member of the Ursinus Gender and Sexuality Alliance. Ve also works as a writing fellow in the Center for Writing and Speaking, where ve helps fellow students improve their writing skills. Audrey was recently featured at Ursinus' Celebration Of Student Achievement for an essay on the mapping of femininity onto gay men in late 20th century theater.

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