Industry: Real Estate (PropTech)
Founding Student Name(s): Temitope Ahmed & Kparobo Tobore
Brief Description of Solution: Krent is an online real estate marketplace, which makes use of advanced technology-based solutions and market data to provide its users with an immersive and value adding experience. Krent seeks to create a more direct link between parties in a real estate transaction, extricating the need for several intermediaries and limiting human intervention in relevant processes.
Funding Dollars: $8,000
What led you to launch this venture? There are many difficulties and exorbitant closing costs associated with renting or buying a home in many Sub-Saharan African countries. I personally felt more value could be created for all stakeholders to a transaction whilst also paying significantly lower fees. I plan to do this by using the tech solutions to bridge the gap within the continent and overseas in the real estate industry. Luckily, I met a partner during my exchange program at the Wharton Business School with a similar motive but different disruptive concept. We agreed to partner and Krent was birthed.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? It has been the design and concept of the software. The idea has been getting so much support from family, friends, and potential investors. Also, the hypothesis testing has been an eye-opener to new inspiring concepts.
How has your MBA program helped you further this startup venture? The MBA program provided a platform to meet and connect with people from across the globe. Interactions with my classmates and key faculty members enabled me to better understand the intricacies and best practices across various markets. Specifically, the entrepreneurship and strategy classes I undertook have proved extremely useful so far even as we navigate the start-up scene.
What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you? Jeff Bezos. Despite leading a $1.7 trillion company, he has encouraged employees to remain agile and tackle decisions with a bias for action. His leadership philosophy has become a cornerstone of my own career – proactively seeking opportunities to stretch myself and create value — to fail fast and fail up.
Which MBA class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? There were several classes that proved valuable during the course of the MBA program at HEC. This included the specialization module in Strategy. This helped me understand how people, process, and technology are the main characters in strategizing the market entry and understanding customer insight, competitors, and negotiation. However, it was also opportune that I was able to specialize in Entrepreneurship courses at Wharton. This was a game charger for me, as I was able to take courses like Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship, and Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship. Several aspects of the class have come in extremely useful. One of the biggest lessons we gained related to company formation – putting the right structures in place for marketing strategy, ownership, and issues among founders. These lessons provided us with a solid foundation for the company launch. As we shift focus to growth and seek outside investments in the near future, we expect to apply even more of the lessons gained during these classes.
What professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? It was Stephen Sammut of the Wharton School, who taught Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management. During and outside his classes, he provided candid advice, helped in navigating key issues encountered, and provided information and other helpful resources we could tap into. He still continues to have an open door and serves as a resource for the team.
What is your long-term goal with your startup? Revolutionize the real estate marketplace in Africa by utilizing technology-based solutions to enhance the search, payment and closing experience of all parties involved in a real estate transaction.
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