After winning the Boston College Venture Competition, ‘CoreHub’ is poised to take on the Boston startup scene.
CoreHub hopes to connect entrepreneurs to the collaborative workspace market.
The startup provides data points such as rent, location, size, and amenities on its platform. These collaborative workspaces provide places for potential tenants with shorter leasing periods, and are usually focused on innovation. Many of these workplaces have been popping up primarily in the Back Bay, Cambridge, and the Somerville sections of the city.
CoreHub may sound familiar. Last year the team won the Boston College Venture Competition (BCVC) and took home the top prize of $20,000. Matt Burke, MCAS ’15, Chris Castro, MCAS ’15, Emaad Ali, MCAS ’19, Gaetan Daphnis, CSOM ’15, and Doug Bent, MCAS ’15, make up CoreHub.
Last spring, the group pitched its venture: An online commercial real estate marketplace, which sought to provide more reliable data to buyers and sellers.
Castro says that he and co-founder Matt Burke came up with the idea while staying in Boston during spring break. “We always threw out business ideas at each other,” Castro said. In the next four to five weeks, the team rallied together and went on to win the competition.
This summer, CoreHub was admitted into the Soaring Startup Circle (SSC). The organization is comprised of BC alums that are employed by Boston-area startups. SSC’s primary goal is to provide undergraduate teams with time, office space, and resources to take their ventures to the next level. CoreHub, BCVC runner up Cogitr (formerly Helpers), Music Splitter, Pstcrd, and Radici Travel were all members of SSC’s class of 2015.
Castro credits SSC for guiding the team throughout the summer. “We met a lot of CEOs, BC alumni, VCs [venture capitalists], and angel investors—they really pointed us in the right direction.”
Castro hailed the rotational accelerator program for allowing the business to gain exposure desired from potential investors. “Without Soaring Startup, we wouldn’t be where we are right now,” Castro said.
CoreHub has shifted its focus to the collaborative workspace market, with the goal of helping entrepreneurs find space in the Boston marketplace. “After getting feedback from our mentors, we found it very hard to scale and hope to focus on this specific vertical with the larger goal still in mind,” Castro said.
“We want to get as many co-working stations in Boston on our platform —aggregate all the information that people need.”
CoreHub co-founder and president, Chris Castro, believes that establishing itself in this smaller market will allow the company to scale up to the retail and commercial spaces in the future.
CoreHub will also appeal to those who list their collaborative workspaces on its platform. “We are going to provide a platform for those listing their workspaces to end users.”
CoreHub will acquire the data directly from the collaborative workspaces on the market. “We are going to sit down with them [workspaces] and create their profiles—they want to differentiate themselves,” Castro said.
Currently, CoreHub is considering a few methods to create revenue. “We’re working on a SaaS model [software as a service] for listers to manage their pipeline and collaborate with end users,” Castro said.
Castro also highlighted the convenience of scaling up, should the company resort to this delivery model. CoreHub is considering an ad-based revenue model similar to Zillow, he said. To begin, however, the company plans to offer the platform for free.
“To start off, we’re going to make it free to end users and people who are trying to list,” Castro said. He believes this is the best way for the venture to establish its customer base, and gives the company the opportunity to perfect its platform prior to scaling up.
Castro is adamant that CoreHub will launch its platform in October for the Boston marketplace, and raise capital later this fall.
“We are focusing on Boston for now, but hope to move onto New York and possibly L.A. in the future,” Castro said. “We’re hoping to raise seed money in order to build out our product and eventually scale.”
Featured Image Courtesy of Chris Castro