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Seattle startup Sanctum is creating private pods for solo travelers to work, rest, or relax



Sanctum, a Seattle-based startup, is designing pods in airports to provide travelers with private, enclosed spaces for working or resting. The pods feature seats designed for napping or working, built-in ventilation, and other amenities. Sanctum was founded by Juriana Spierenburg, CEO, and Jason Koo, CTO, with the goal of initially deploying prototypes in airports to gather user feedback and eventually expanding to gyms and co-working spaces in urban areas.

The idea for Sanctum was inspired by Spierenburg’s own experiences traveling solo, where she faced challenges such as high accommodation costs, limited options, and safety concerns. The pricing model for Sanctum will consist of an unlocking fee and a pay-per-minute model similar to bike-sharing, giving users control over how much they pay. The company plans to generate revenue through profit-sharing arrangements with airports and other venues rather than leasing spaces upfront.

Sanctum is bootstrapped without any outside funding, with Spierenburg and Koo working on the startup in their free time until they secure their first airport contract. The company plans to partner with janitorial services for cleaning the pods initially, with future plans to implement automated cleaning using robotics, UV light, and sanitizing spray. The pods are currently designed to accommodate users for working or resting, with future designs expected to include fully reclining chairs for sleeping.

The interior space of the current prototype is around 100 cubic feet, with plans to expand to around 125 cubic feet in future designs. The goal is to create a comfortable space for all users, regardless of size, drawing inspiration from the car industry’s innovations in making small spaces feel spacious. Sanctum aims to provide travelers with a peaceful and productive sanctuary in busy airport environments, offering a unique solution to the challenges faced by solo travelers looking for private spaces on the go.

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