This Month in Seattle Tech: A ‘Genius’ Debuts a Personal Assistant App

A thriving innovation scene is not only an incubator of talent but also, almost by definition, of guinea pigs.

So it wasn’t surprising to learn earlier this month that Seattle got the first crack at enlisting the services of Yohana, a Silicon Valley–based wellness company founded by former University of Washington professor and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Yoky Matsuoka. The Google X cofounder and Nest vet received backing from Panasonic to create an app that pairs parents—especially mothers, its marketing stresses—with real live personal assistants to help them check off items on their to-do lists. While users in other cities will have to linger on waitlists for now to get matched with “Yo Assistants,”

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