by Pragya Yadav
Chicago based startup of SLP fellow, Lakshmi Bhargave, Roomations, was recently awarded a $20,000 investment from Start Garden an unconventional venture capital fund that invests in many ideas in small increments. Till date, it has invested more than $6 million into startup companies. At Start Garden, entrepreneurs present their experiment and receive feedback. Roomations initially received a $5000 investment to check the viability of their project over a 90-day period. “We were impressed at (their) disciplined approach to run tests in the market, find out what was or wasn’t working and then iterate from there” said Kim Pasquino, portfolio manager at Start Garden. “We think this idea has a ton of potential, differing ways to monetize it, and we are excited to proceed with a $20,000 investment. We have confidence that if it can be figured out, this team will do it.”
What is Roomations?
Roomations is a tech startup that crowd-sources freelance interior designers to provide clients from different walks of life easy access to custom, personalized online design consultation for the level of service most appropriate for their needs. The designers create 3D photorealistic renderings of rooms, and tag products displayed in the designs with real products available at big retailers to create a customized shopping list. Roomations facilitates the designers’ search for clients and income while providing retailers a sales channel through which there’s virtual placement of products in consumer homes. The trio of founders includes- Katie Miller, Jessica Goldberg and Lakshmi. They met while pursuing their masters at the University of Michigan and that’s when they knew they wanted to start a business together. “Co-founders are essential. Lakshmi and Jessica have skills, knowledge and networks that are nothing like mine yet very complementary. None of us could’ve started Roomations on our own and gotten where we are today,” says Katie. For them, taking this forward just requires the virtues of perseverance and overflowing optimism.
Pragya Yadav is part of our talented team of Marketing Interns.
She is a second year student of Lady Sri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi, is currently pursuing Economics. She has an enthusiastic and a passionate footballer and has represented her school, state and college at various tournaments from the past 5 years. In spite of being a resident of Delhi she loves to explore the city through the lens of a traveler. She’s a project executive at Enactus in her college. Enactus is a worldwide community of students and business leaders who enable progress for themselves and the community through entrepreneurial- based projects that empower people to transform opportunities into real sustainable models. On weekends, she volunteers with Becoming I where she’s a project coordinator and she teaches underprivileged kids sports.