Application by students brokers rental properties without estate agent fee

The winner of the University of Tartu business and project idea competition Kaleidoskoop was team Konku, whose web and mobile application (www.konku.ee) provides rental ads without estate agent fees. The winning team has kept in mind people looking for a home and apartment owners and uses a very personal approach in both cases.

With the application by Karl-Sander Erssi, UT student of gene technology, and Joonas Põdra, law student, you can find your future home by price, location, number of rooms or other conditions.

“In case of a successful deal, we ask people to evaluate the property owners—did they keep to the agreement, did the apartment correspond to the photos and descriptions. This way, next tenants know whether to trust or avoid the owner,” the students described the personal aspect of the service.

The young men are certain that through the Konku app, the owner can get to know their future tenant better than through any real estate agent. “Our site has recommendations and warnings about potential tenants—who kept the apartment in the state it was given to them, who left behind cigarette smell and scraped surfaces,” described the entrepreneurial UT students and they are certain that by personal feedback, property owners will find the tenant they like the best.

Head of UT Idea Lab and organiser of Kaleidoskoop Maret Ahonen said that the winners of the main prize started at the idea level in the pre-incubation programme of the Idea Lab: “As a result of hard work, which means constantly testing the idea and communicating with potential users and customers, the understanding of the business model and service became clear and, in the end, this was their strength.”

Winners of Kaleidoskoop, authors of Konku, Karl-Sander Erss and Joonas Põder, will go on an award trip to SLUSH, the biggest start-up company conference in the Nordic, taking place in Helsinki, and get a development advisor to further develop their idea.

Several special prizes were also awarded. For example, the prize of Tartu City Government and eco-innovation went to team Gleather, which included students of UT Materials Science and Entrepreneurship and Technology Management and a student of Design and Crafts at the Estonian Academy of Arts. The team is developing alternative leather made of gelatin. So in the future, every other home might have a couch with a so called leather cover made of gelatin.

Ahonen added that all 14 entrepreneurial teams that participated in the finals stood out with bold performance and confidence: “They are an example to fellow students and support the development of the entrepreneurial university in studies and outside studies. All participants will in the future be great partners to an enterprise or be entrepreneurs themselves, who dare to experiment and bring new ideas to the market, which make people’s everyday lives more convenient and routine tasks easier.”

Entrepreneurial youth with new ideas are welcome at Idea Storm, the opening event of the autumn Idea Lab, on 22 September 2016. Have a look at all special prize winners and judges at ideelabor.ut.ee. Kaleidoskoop is funded by the European Social Fund.

Virge Tamme Press Officer of the UT Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5815 5392 E-mail: virge.tamme@ut.ee
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