Booth-Founded Start-Up Wins Dashfire Launch
By Adapted from a previously released Press Release written by Dashfire | june, 2013, Issue 1
(L-R) Rick Desai (Founder of Dashfire), Hendrik Chasse, Diego Santa Maria and Kelsey Lutz (Venture Partner, Dashfire)
RoomVa, a startup founded by University of Chicago Booth students, has won the inaugural Dashfire Launch Summer Program. As the winner, RoomVa will spend the summer validating its business model and launching its beta product through $35,000 in actionable services and mentoring from Chicago's best strategists. The program targeted MBA-led teams and is aimed to highlight the collaborative nature of Chicago's entrepreneurial community.
RoomVa connects Latin American consumers to small and medium hotels in their city. The platform will allow these hotels to move away from pen and paper reservations, expand their client base, increase occupancy and improve room management. For Latin American users, typically between the ages of 18-35, RoomVa will provide transparency about location, services and room rates, and make booking a room a smoother experience.
RoomVa was founded by Diego Santa Maria '14 and later included Hendrik Chasse '14 and Mauricio Paiva (Head of Peru's operation) to strengthen its operational capabilities. The company plans to pilot in Lima, Peru with short term plans to expand to other Latin American countries like Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile.
Dashfire designs start-ups by partnering with entrepreneurs to launch startup ventures through software development and strategic refinement. Dashfire has launched more than 30 companies that have created over 100 U.S. jobs and have been accepted to top incubators/accelerator programs such as TechStars.
The strength of the entrepreneurship programs at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management was evident in both the number and quality of applications that Dashfire received. The range of business ideas ranged from a retail loyalty program to a SaaS (Software as a Service) tool to improve energy consumption to a custom clothing company. The unifying theme was the fantastic quality of the founders and the exciting market opportunities they are tackling.
Perhaps even more impressive was the geographic diversity of applicants. Entrepreneurs from the Chicago area, as well as applicants from Europe, Asia and Latin America competed.
"We are thrilled to be working with the RoomVa team and the Chicago community to launch an international business. It is exciting and encouraging to see entrepreneurs from across the world seeking Chicago as their preferred destination to launch a company. Booth and Kellogg have served as fantastic ambassadors and partners in this initiative," said Kelsey Lutz, a Dashfire Venture Parnter. "We are looking forward to be working with Diego and Hendrik, who bring vast experience and a successful entrepreneurial track record to the table."
For more information, visit www.roomva.com.
About Dashfire Launch
Dashfire Launch is a ten week summer program for a selected startup to convert a PowerPoint into a digital company. One MBA-led team from either the University of Chicago Booth School of Business or the Kellogg School of Management receives $35,000 in actionable, hands-on services and access to Dashfire's startup framework and strategists within the Chicago startup ecosystem. Services include: Business Modeling, Product Design and Development, Branding, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Legal, Community and Hosting. To learn more go to http://dashfire.com/launch.