Ds Scholarship

2021 Most Disruptive MBA Startups: Andes STR, University of Chicago (Booth)

industry: Real estate

Founding Student Name: Sebastian Rivas (CEO, Booth MBA 21′)

Brief description of the solution: We offer our clients a fully turnkey way, powered by ML, to invest in short term rental properties (eg Airbnb, VRBO, etc). We use our technology to find the properties that will yield the highest returns, help clients obtain financing, facilitate the purchase process, furnish the property and then manage the property; All our clients have to do is sign the contract and deposit the money. Our solution reduces the number of hours an investor needs to spend before owning the property from 200+ to less than 2 hours, and throughout the investment period to almost zero. No need to welcome guests, coordinate cleaning, etc. – we take care of everything while our clients generate passive income.

Dollar Funding: Million dollar seed round

What prompted you to launch this project? There were three events that prompted me to launch this project. First, when I was working in infrastructure and real estate investment banking in Toronto, most of my colleagues were interested in investing in an Airbnb property, but found it too difficult or complicated – even though they knew it was twice as profitable as a regular long-term rental. When seasoned investors find it very difficult to invest in something, it is a sign that there is opportunity out there.

Second, my neighbor at the time, who is a software engineer, started working from different Airbnbs in exotic locations every month and told me that not only he, but most of his co-workers, were happy to pay double that and earn half of what he pays for world travel while working and staying at High quality short term rentals. Things started to line up.

Then, I tried to buy a property on Airbnb myself – and found out it was very difficult! It took me months to learn everything I needed to learn, another two months to find a good deal, and two weeks to arrange financing, and the whole process was very stressful. And then, managing the property myself was impossible with the long hours I was working at the time. I handed the property over to a management company, but they did a terrible job of looking after it: I actually got a call from the police at 2am on Wednesday notifying me of a shooting in my apartment! At that point, I asked myself, “Why isn’t there a trustworthy company that can take care of everything for me?” Not only was I weary, but I was also excited about helping others so they don’t have to go through the same ordeal, that’s when we came up with our first motto: “We take care of everything for you.”

What is your biggest achievement so far with this project? Winning first place at the University of Chicago, Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, June 2021. It was an incredibly rewarding experience, but also very competitive. We put in a lot of work and improved a lot during the competition. Since then, we have received stringent commitments to more than 150 properties, which are worth over $100 million in assets. That’s a bit of a stretch in three months!

How has the MBA program helped you promote this startup venture? My MBA has been a critical factor in the success of Andes STR. First, Booth’s flexible curriculum offerings helped me truly adapt my experience to balance whatever area I thought I was lacking in knowledge. Secondly, Booth’s entrepreneurship program is really impressive; Most of the classes are taught not only by brilliant academics, but also by accomplished practitioners. This means that I not only got good frameworks but actual experience. Finally, going through an NVC has taught me a lot about how to run a company and what VCs are looking for in a project, which is ultimately an indicator of how value is created. It is no exaggeration to say that Booth gave me all the tools and opportunities required to become a successful entrepreneur.

Who is the founder or entrepreneur who inspired you to start your entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you? My father was my biggest influence in terms of entrepreneurship. He’s been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember, and he was truly a person to follow for me. Growing up in Chile, I saw my father starting with almost nothing, working hard and smart to provide for his family while at the same time giving back to the community. He’s the kind of person who leads from the front: first in charge, last out of the office, never complaining. Whenever things get worse, I remind myself of it and make double the effort.

What was the most valuable MBA class in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson I learned from it? The new challenge of entrepreneurship (by far), entrepreneurship financing, private equity, and innovation commercialization. These were all great classes focusing on the intersection between entrepreneurship and finance. I’ve found that it’s really important to understand these two perspectives well in order to create the most value – entrepreneurship is more about thinking big and doing, while finance is more about mitigating risk and making sure the market will accept the entrepreneur. idea. When two points of view agree with each other, great things happen. If it’s skewed, you still don’t exist.

Which professor made the most significant contribution to your plans and why? There are so many names I’d mention here, but if I had to raise just one, I’d say Mark Tippi. To take the entrepreneurial path as an international student is to take a risky path. After going through NVC, I received a full-time offer from a large tech company in a coveted position. This was not only a low-risk option, but also a relatively high (financial) return. On the other hand, I had the option of pursuing entrepreneurship with the support of Ventures and my close friend from high school as a co-founder. Mark spent many hours talking to me, giving me words of advice, and assuring me that even if we failed, all would be well. It helped me believe in myself and my ability to lead a company. In the end, I made the jump and couldn’t be happier about it. Thanks Mark.

What is your long-term goal with your startup? We will accelerate the transition from long-term leases to fully managed short-term leases, and become the number one player in the process.

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