Last week the McCloskey New Venture Competition came to a close by awarding $400,000 in cash prizes to startups. Hosted by Notre Dame’s IDEA Center, the competition was open to entrepreneurs outside of the university for the first time.
- Kem Krest Best Minority Owned Business — $10k
- Klau Family Award for Greatest Social Impact — $15k
- Innovation Park at Notre Dame Award — 6 months office space
On Monday John reflected that “It was exciting to win and see that people believe we have the best opportunity to make the biggest impact out of all the companies there.” He added that winning the Kem Krest Best Minority Owned Business was especially exciting because it’s not just social enterprise validation — they had to compete against all of the other ventures.
Hurry Home is one of the ventures emerging from INVANTI Cohort 1. This first cohort had the goal of starting new companies that tackle issues affecting the financial health of Americans.
Once the program started, cohort members began the process of interviewing elected officials, community leaders, neighborhood associations and others to pinpoint problems they could address … During the research and interview process [Jada] talked to over 200 people and discovered that one particular issue came up over and over in her discussions: Houses worth $50,000 to $80,000 were just sitting on the market, despite demand among potential buyers.
What she learned was that banks generally lost money on such mortgages. That’s because they had to go through the same amount of work required for a much more expensive house, but could only charge a capped fee too low to cover the cost of writing the mortgage. As a result, they were loath to back such deals — so only buyers who could afford to pay in cash were able to make a purchase.
Another cohort member John Gibbons also was interested in the problem. So Mclean and Gibbons teamed up to start company, named Hurry Home, to provide a way for renters to become homeowners of the houses they were living in. Investors buy the homes and buyers pay a monthly down payment, allowing them eventually to purchase the place for themselves. The company is gearing up for a pilot, aiming to place 10 families in homes by the end of the year.
Jada and John are currently preparing for a pilot here in South Bend with a goal of putting ten families in homes by the end of 2018. Jada explained that the awards will help with working capital, as they are currently bootstrapped and pre-funding.
Interested in Hurry Home? Check out their website, and watch co-founder John Gibbons’ interview with Dustin and Maria: