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NockNock startup that lets you rent out rooms in your home launches in Chicago

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That is, until today, when Mr. and Mrs. Elliott’s kitchen debuted on Chicago’s only new sharing site that allows homeowners to rent out rooms in their homes by the hour. They rent the kitchen and adjoining entertainment space at NockNock for $250 an hour, and separately list a skylighted workout space on his third floor of the house for $100 an hour. In both cases there is a minimum rental of 4 hours.

Elliotts envisions renting a kitchen to host large group lunch meetings and video productions, as well as renting a gym for fitness trainers to work with nearby clients.

“When we’re not here, we can make money on the side,” said Simon Elliott.

NockNock founder Charles Ferguson is based in California, but he said he’s only launching the concept in Chicago at first. “Because Chicago is a big, complex city, with lots of different neighborhoods and housing types” – the right setting to prove it. Concept out before installation in other parts of the country.

Ferguson said the startup has “three to five” employees in Chicago and has attracted $3 million in startup funding from small early-stage venture capital firms and private investors.

The idea for Knock Knock came to Ferguson when he had a meeting in Berkeley, Calif., about 30 minutes from his home, and wanted to hit his favorite trail afterwards. “I wanted a place to hide my clothes and shower,” says Ferguson. 2010 Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job About the 2008 global financial crisis.

Rent an entire house or bedroom overnight via Vrbo, Airbnb or other outlets, rent a pool on Swimply, rent a piano practice room on PianoMe, rent a parking space ParqEx, Or at a Peerspace conference or event venue.

“I think it has a million uses,” says Ferguson. “Some people have roof decks, electric car chargers, laundry rooms and nice unused backyards.”

When asked about renting out the bedroom, Ferguson said, “It’s probably not a knock-knock thing.” He said there have not yet been applicants to rent individual bedrooms by the hour that he remembers.

In Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood, Shasta and Michael Grossett list NockNock’s basement for $40 an hour and the backyard for $40 an hour.

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