The founder series explores the minds of business owners and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview these business founders to understand the life lessons that mold them into who they are today. We also learn more about their company, their products or services, how they are different from their competitors, and the problems that they are trying to solve for their customers. The information that these business owners provide to us helps inform other entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the business world. We all can take these lessons and apply them to our entrepreneurial journey. We want to thank every business owner who volunteered their time to participate in these interviews and share their knowledge with the community.
Great to meet you. Thank you for doing the interview. We want to know more about your journey, early struggles, success, and some wisdom that we can pass on to others who are interested in walking your footsteps toward becoming an entrepreneur. We know that being an entrepreneur is not all glory and fame, but there are hard times too. We believe that others who are interested in being a business owner can gain insight from other business founders like yourself. Again, we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview started!
Let us start off with some basic questions to learn more about who you are as a person.
Can you tell everyone your name, please?
Yes, my name is Win Warfield.
Where did you go to school?
I attended the University of Maryland in College Park.
Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?
Two lessons have served me well not only in my business endeavors but also in my life. One learned earlier in boarding school and the other a little bit later in college. The first lesson was perseverance. I started playing hockey at about the time I began to walk, and it was my first love. I possessed a passion for the game and some talent but sadly lacked an effective slapshot. During my time at The Rectory, my coach Mike Healy encouraged me to work diligently on the fundamentals of developing a slapshot. I showed up to practice early and stayed late every chance possible to practice, practice, practice. At times it seemed like I would never master the fundamentals and I remember feeling utterly frustrated and discouraged. A never-ending cycle of drills that didn’t look to improve my game. However, eventually it all came together and the hours of practice and sacrifice paid off. I learned that if I was willing to go to any lengths, stay focused, and persevere, I could overcome a shortcoming and experience success. In short, hard work pays off, and if I am willing to invest myself wholeheartedly, I will reach my goal (pun intended).
The second lesson which I have found to be priceless is the ability to want what I have. In short, to make do with less. Every day I am bombarded with the materialistic realities of our society, demanding that to be happy or viewed as successful I need to own or buy something. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy certain creature comforts as much as the next guy, but these items do not define my self-esteem or self-worth. Instead, I rely on the first lesson, perseverance, and hard work to define me.
Thank you for providing background on who you are as a person. I always find it fascinating to learn who a person is and their early life lessons. Let us move forward with the interview and discuss what you are doing now and how you are making a difference in your industry.
What is the name of your company?
Where is your company located?
We are a Baltimore based start-up.
What services or products does your organization provide?
We Provide an alternative housing platform that allows our users to find more reasonably priced housing by having a roommate, and will enable buildings to fill apartments with tenants who would otherwise be priced out of living there.
What problem is your business trying to solve?
We are trying to create an environment where our users have more choices with regards to quality housing at an affordable house, as well as helping buildings with both tenants attraction, and increasing lease renewals by giving them options when people need roommates to move in, or when one roommate is moving, and the other wants to stay. Our goal is to create an all-in-one housing platform that matches like-minded people to roommates and quality housing.
How is your business unique against your competitors?
While there are other roommates finding platforms available, none have taken our approach to partner with the buildings as part of their revenue model. This feature makes our approach unique, in the sense that on top of being able to charge buildings for helping them fill units, we also benefit from the buildings through user acquisition, as they can refer our prospect tenants for them to find roommates.
How did the idea for your business come to fruition?
After graduating college, I moved back to Baltimore and needed to find a place to live and renting a room was more in line with my budget. After going on Craigslist and realizing quickly that their solution was based strictly on budget — living with someone is an intimate experience and finding a place that solely fits your budget may work for some, but there are other important facets of the co-living experience, such as finding the right roommate, that my company factors in as well.
Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?
Final question. We want to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.
Ricky: What one tip would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?
When it comes to selling and establishing partnerships, we have a company motto that “each no is one step closer to a yes.” Also, perseverance is the key to success with any business, and you can’t let things get in your way. You need to figure out a way around them.