2020: Year in Review
At the end of 2019, I had a spark of an idea to solve the problem I was facing as a landlord. I began my research to see what is out there. There were a few companies that did not have time in their day to talk to someone small like me, and there were other solutions that lacked functionality.
I spoke to a few other smaller landlords and like I suspected, almost everyone had similar challenges. So what started as a simple search became a real opportunity to build a platform.
Finding my co-founder
I was very confident that it was an idea that would sell, but I still needed a partner with the technical expertise to make it reality. So through common friends, I met Vijay. We met at my Niagara Falls home and immediately fell in step with each other. We both shared the same passion and had even worked at the same place at one point, without knowing each other.
We incorporated Tenantcube in Dec 2019, and spent the weekends brainstorming and making plans. Innovate Niagara has helped us throughout this journey and more so at this stage, be it validating our idea or giving us a bigger platform to be heard by other industry experts.
Swimming the pandemic waters
Just as we were getting started the Covid-19 pandemic hit us and the economy took a dive. Vijay and I seriously started considering putting it off some time as it didn’t seem like a favorable environment for a startup. But then we decided to use it to our advantage. It was going to be a year of ideation and development and build faster than usual.
While I set up offices here in St. Catharines, Vijay moved back to India to set up a development center. I still remember Vijay’s emotional last coffee at Tim Hortons. But, he took the leap and then started the virtual calls across time zones and at all times.
Mistakes and successes
The first person to believe in our idea and invest in Tenantcube was John Yardley, through the Niagara Angel Network. He in turn introduced us to a few other investors. And when we pitched to them a couple of weeks later, we were torn to shreds. We were so under prepared and that session was a jolt of reality. And I am ever thankful for that day. Because after that, we swore to ourselves that we will know everything that there is to know about this industry and we did it.
We went on to become the TiEQuest Toronto Finalist, TiE50 winner, won recognition from Accel Founderstack, and Nitro.
A closed Beta launch
The team grew to thirteen people who worked hard to bring my idea to reality. We built the MVP of a rental experience platform which can work with other property management solutions to provide a great renting experience for both landlords and tenants.
We demonstrated our product to a few property owners and they only had good things to say. We then granted them access to Tenantcube so they can actually use it for their business. And they have been an integral part of shaping our roadmap with their suggestion and feedback.
Overall, 2020 has been challenging for the entire world. But I would like to think we have done rather well under the circumstances. I can’t wait to see what our team can accomplish in 2021. If you are a landlord who feels unwelcomed by your software provider, we are waiting to wow you. We are not only passionate we are resilient. We are here to stay and change the way you rent.