As a spot owner, William Armstrong struggled to find a mode to negociate his properties. The lone options disposable either progressive him emptying his wallet to prosecute a spot manager, oregon doing each of the enactment himself, which helium couldn’t bash due to the fact that helium had a full-time job.
When Armstrong didn’t find a virtual solution that suited his needs, helium created 1 himself: Ivan AI, a afloat automated absorption solution for rental spot owners.
Raleigh-based Ivan AI is 1 of the 7 startups participating successful RIoT’s Accelerator Program (RAP). The 12-week program, which started in-person connected June 9 pursuing a virtual twelvemonth successful 2020, is the eighth RAP cohort wide and volition extremity successful a transportation by each startup aboriginal this fall.
Existing virtual spot managers, Armstrong found, either lone catered to a circumstantial country of absorption (like maintenance) oregon were connected a commercialized standard and required owners to ain a ample minimum fig of units.
Ivan AI bridges the spread betwixt self-managing a rental spot and hiring a accepted spot manager.
“He” (Ivan) uses AI to automate galore mundane oregon repetitive landlord tasks, portion keeping costs to astir fractional that of the accepted spot manager. Ivan is disposable 24/7 to some tenants and landlords and responds successful seconds.
“Ivan takes the workload disconnected of the landlord astatine a overmuch much affordable complaint than a accepted spot manager,” Armstrong said.
Ivan handles a swath of landlord tasks, including communicating with tenants, resolving attraction requests, collecting rent payments, and sending leases and reminders of expiring leases.
Having lone begun Ivan AI successful January, Armstrong hasn’t collected immoderate backing yet. Right now, helium said he’s focused connected finishing the prototype, which should beryllium disposable to the nationalist hopefully successful September. In the meantime, Armstrong volition trial the MVP starting successful July with his ain rental properties and past statesman a backstage trial proceedings successful August.
Armstrong encourages immoderate readers who ain spot and are funny successful trying the bundle during the beta trial to nonstop him an email astatine [email protected] or sojourn the website.
Up to bat again, and ready
Founding Ivan AI isn’t the archetypal clip Armstrong has exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit. In precocious school, Armstrong ran a tiny landscaping company, and erstwhile helium near for college, galore of his clients asked him if helium knew of anyone to refer. He didn’t, which gave him the thought for Yaardvark, a matchmaking level for homeowners and gait workers, that helium founded successful 2015.
Armstrong continued to enactment connected Yaardvark portion earning a concern grade from the University of Akron successful Ohio, and the startup adjacent made it arsenic a semifinalist successful the national Student Startup Madness contention successful 2015.
Despite Yaardvark’s potential, Armstrong rapidly learned that increasing a palmy startup is simply a full-time commitment. As a assemblage pupil with a engaged workload, helium had to enactment his entrepreneurial ambitions connected intermission and Yaardvark didn’t survive.
This clip around, aft graduating assemblage successful 2018, Armstrong left his occupation astatine a existent property company—the occupation for which helium had moved to the Triangle—so helium could dedicate each of his clip and resources to Ivan AI. His acquisition with Yaardvark besides taught him that successes aren’t created overnight.
“Although I would emotion to make an overnight success,” Armstrong said, “my main absorption with Ivan is to truly perceive to the wants and needs of my marketplace and make a genuinely exceptional merchandise that drives monolithic worth to the extremity user.”