How a Bad Money Experience Inspired One Entrepreneur to Develop a Roommate-Rating App


On this ongoing series, we’re sharing advice, suggestions and insights from real entrepreneurs who’re on the market doing business battle on a every day basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Who’re you and what’s your online business?
My name is Stephen Rankin. I’m the co-founder of Chillow, a mobile app that is available on IOS and the Google Play Store. We offer a platform for roommates to seek out a spot to live and likewise provide the power for people to review, rank and endorse current and former roommates. Our algorithm allows renters to be matched based on location and lifestyle selections. We also partner with property management corporations to scale back tenant turnover and fill complex vacancies.

Related: It’s Never Too Late to Launch Your Dream, Say These Skincare Entrepreneurs

What inspired you to create this business?

In 2010, two roommates and I had an unlucky experience with our fourth roommate, who was answerable for turning within the rent every month. As a substitute of paying it to our apartment complex, they went to Las Vegas and lost it gambling. We were evicted and compelled to cover the prices of finding a recent place to live. At the moment I believed, why is not there somewhere I can review what my living experience was like with this individual in order that others are aware and another person is not wronged? I kept the concept for 8 years before putting it into motion, starting a business, and developing a mobile app.

What has been your biggest challenge and the way did you pivot to beat it?

An enormous challenge we faced got here after we paid a contract developer $35,000 upfront for the contracted work, and later discovered that they weren’t following through on what their commitment. I pivoted by hiring an intern to document the mistakes and track the shortage of progress. From there I used to be in a position to allocate a recent developer to take over and fix what had been done unsuitable.

What advice would you give entrepreneurs in search of funding?

Search for investors who’ve participated in your field. But before you begin having those conversations, make efforts towards a seed round, a crowd-funding round, or family and friends raising. One thing that can greatly profit you is that if your online business is making revenue before you speak to investors.

Related: You Don’t Need to Be a Business Owner to Think Like an Entrepreneur

What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?

Ideally, being your personal boss and making a life by design, not living a life by default. Making a product/service that advantages others. Growing the business to the purpose where you possibly can step away and have it run efficiently. If not, you are an worker of the corporate you began. I’ve also considered an entrepreneur to be someone who’s an energetic go-getter. They set their mind to achieving something and have zero distractions in accomplishing their goal.

What’s something many aspiring business owners think they need that they really don’t?

Many aspiring business owners think they need their idea to be a secret. You do not want to maintain your idea a secret. Share your idea with others, gather their feedback, and gauge whether your product/service is something that others find useful. In the method, you might uncover your market.

Is there a specific quote or saying that you simply use as personal motivation?

“It is simple to be nice when life flows by like a song, however the man worthwhile is the one who will smile when the whole lot goes dead unsuitable. For the test of the center is trouble, and it at all times comes with years, and the smile that’s well worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through the tears.” — Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

There might be good days and bad while you embark in your profession journey. You can’t appreciate one without the opposite. This quote is a testament to that and I’ve read it again and again when times are tough.

Related: Forget a Business Plan. Here’s All You Really Must Launch, In keeping with This Art Book Entrepreneur.


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