Seven ventures will compete in the Global Impact Award finals on Monday, October 29th. Up to $50,000 will be awarded to one or more ventures.
Since the announcement of the 2018 finalists in April, all finalists have been paired up with industry mentors and have been polishing their pitches and Opportunity Summaries. Each week leading up to the finals in October, we will introduce one finalist team individually. Check back each week for a new profile!
This week is all about…
Total Number of Employees: 5
When They Formed: March 2016
Total Funding (as of September 2018): $100
What problem are you solving?
More than two-thirds of Americans are renting — more than at any point in the last 50 years. After the housing crisis, renters are looking to make housing payments affordable, and over 30% of working adults solve this problem by accepting roommates. Cubic provides an alternative to this uncomfortable living situation.
How do you solve the problem?
With Cubic, you can replace a roommate with boxes. Cubic’s online platform allows residents to generate a consistent revenue stream by connecting them with storage-seekers. Unlike Airbnb, hosting with Cubic requires minimal work. Airbnb hosts must maintain their homes as a hotel. Cubic hosts, however, simply open their door.
About the Founding Team:
Kelly Wisneski (Architecture and Computer Science ’18)
Co-Founder and CEO
As CEO, Kelly sets the vision and manages the internal relationship between technical and creative teams and the external customer service. She has a BFA in Architecture and a BS in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Shadi Davari (Computer Engineering and Economics ’20)
Co-Founder and CFO
As CFO, Shadi manages payments to and from residents and students, respectively, and formulates financial goals and strategies. She is working towards her BS in Computer Engineering and Economics at Washington University in St. Louis and is set to graduate in 2020.
Rebecca Resnic (Architecture ’18)
Co-Founder and COO
As COO, Rebecca keeps the team organized by leading meetings, hires new members, and connects with mentors and legal consult. She has a BFA in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.
Maddy Angstreich (Communication Design ’20)
Co-Founder and CMO
As CMO, Maddy develops marketing strategy, advertises to storage-seekers and hosts, and creates visual marketing materials. She is working towards her BFA in Communication Design at Washington University in St. Louis and is set to graduate in 2020.
What has been your biggest lesson learned since starting your venture?
Kelly Wisneski (KW): You’ve got to know your audience. From running meetings to customer service to pitching investors, the first question you have to ask yourself is “Who am I talking to?” You can make up a lot in experience by thinking critically about your audience’s perspectives and motivations.
Shadi Davari (SD): Clear and consistent communication is key! Sometimes problems come up and everything doesn’t go as planned, and it’s better to communicate that now rather than have others find out later.
Rebecca Resnic (RR): It may take years before the venture has tangible results, and that’s ok. I think we all want immediate gratification, but there is so much that goes into creating a business, especially as students, that we must be patient and put in the time to make something worthwhile.
Maddy Angstreich (MA): Time is an incredibly valuable resource. With finding time for 8 people to meet during the week and working late hours on our venture, I realized that investing time in our business was just as important as investing money.
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
KW: I love that there’s no right answer. Entrepreneurship is about surrounding yourself with the right resources and people to help you move forward.
SD: Having the autonomy to pivot and change ideas without constraints from big parties and becoming a part of a family are two of the things I have loved!
RR: It was incredibly exciting when we began to get customers who were not friends or acquaintances. That’s when I realized our idea had really transformed into something that was useful to other people.
MA: I love working to create an impactful solution to a problem in our community.
What words of advice do you have for those who are interested in starting a business?
KW: Don’t try to do it alone, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. No one is simply going to hand you the answers, but you’d be surprised how generous people are if you simply start the conversation. Imposter Syndrome plays a huge part in that “ask-for-help” mindset, particularly as a woman. Don’t question yourself—you belong here.
SD: It’s okay to be afraid, uncertain, or nervous at first… but at the end of the day, a leap of faith is all it takes for an idea to turn into a success. Even if it’s not a success, it’ll be an invaluable life experience unique to you!
RR: Take advantage of the resources available, especially if you’re a student! Programs that provide funding, legal clinics run by law students, mentorship programs, etc. These opportunities will not come to you, but they’re out there and it worth taking advantage of.
MA: Find likeminded peers who are passionate about your venture to work with you. A brilliant team member who isn’t engaged with the fundamental cause of the business won’t truly be an asset!
Like what you see? Follow along Cubic’s journey: