Here at Jebbit HQ we’ve had a few new faces these past couple of weeks…
Soaring Startup Circle, a summer accelerator program launched last summer, was started by Jebbit CEO Tom Coburn and other entrepreneurial BC alumni. When asked about what inspired the program, Tom pointed to Summer@Highland as one of the most crucial, formative 3-month periods in Jebbit history. Jebbit had just won the Boston College Venture Competition. Armed with an idea and some form of validation, they still only a vague idea of what exactly to do next. After getting accepted into Summer@Highland, the team had the unique opportunity to work full-time on their venture, get a robust entrepreneurship education, form connections, and work in their own office space. Tom went as far as to say he’s not sure if Jebbit would have gotten off the ground without it.
Circling back to BC, in general at most only 1 company that emerges from BCVC goes on to MassChallenge, Summer@Highland, TechStars, or another such accelerator or incubator. United in the belief that there is no reason there can’t be more, Tom and other like-minded BC alumni in the area, such as Dave McLaughlin, CEO of Vsnap, Justin Dziama, Vice President at Avison Young Real Estate, Miguel Galvez, Co-Founder at NBD Nanotechnologies, and Harvey Simmsons, Digital Marketing Manager at RunKeeper, teamed up to start Soaring Startup Circle.
The core goal of Soaring Startup Circle is to have 4-5 companies every year that get a better chance to succeed and gain traction. The program offers a stepping stone from BCVC, much as Summer@Highland did for Jebbit. It helps 4-5 teams per summer to get to the point of entering a program or raising funding.
This is the second summer the program is running and CoreHub is one of the 5 participating teams. CoreHub is a commercial real estate marketplace which connects buyers & sellers, tenants & brokers; empowering users to make better, faster decisions about their next space. An aspect of the Soaring Startup Circle is that each team spends a number of weeks getting to work in each hosting startup’s office. The past few weeks CoreHub has set up camp at Jebbit and we took the opportunity to ask CoreHub CEO Matt Burke a few questions about their journey so far:
What’s your “start-up story” – what inspired you? What happened leading up to and during BCVC?
We actually got started pretty late for a BCVC team we had our idea during spring break, about six weeks before the final competition. Chris and I were looking at some of the new technologies on the residential side of real estate like Zillow and Trulia and wondered what the equivalent was for the commercial side of the market. The more we researched the industry, the more it became clear that the smaller side of the commercial real estate market was disorganized and difficult to navigate. This is problematic because most of the tenants of these small spaces are small businesses and entrepreneurs that don’t have the luxury of their own real estate department. As soon we realized the depth of this problem we began reaching out to everyone we could in the Boston commercial real estate industry trying to solve it.
What motivated you to join Soaring Start-Up Circle? What does it mean for you and your business?
We met Miguel for dinner one night before the BCVC competition to get some feedback on our idea and advice for our pitch and that was the first I heard of Soaring Start-Up. It sounded like a perfect opportunity for us especially considering how early stage we are. Being accepted to the program was so exciting, it made us really believe that this was something attainable for us. The guidance we’ve received so far has been incredibly valuable, and it’s been awesome to listen to the founders of great Boston startups talk about their early days and the things they struggled with. It’s given us a raw look at the level of commitment it really takes to start a business.
What do you hope to learn and to accomplish this summer?
We’re determined to put ourselves in a position to keep working on CoreHub full time after the summer. That’s going to involve a ton of hard work, some traction on our platform, and likely a little more funding. But I’m incredibly confident in our team’s ability to get things done quickly and the right way and with the guidance of the Soaring Startup Circle I think we have the tools we need to turn CoreHub into a major player in the commercial real estate industry.