Alumni secure corporate funding on ‘Shark Tank’

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Mike Doyle CEO Mike Doyle, left, and co-founder Drew Mitchell landed a deal with the popular ABC show, “Shark Tank,” for their company, Rent Like a Champion.Rent Like a Champion is a housing rental company that targets fans traveling to college towns for games and other major events.  Doyle and Mitchell initially asked the sharks for an investment of $200,000 for a 10 percent equity stake, and eventually, Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca matched their terms. “The whole ‘Shark Tank’ experience was surreal,” Doyle said.Although the episode aired on Oct. 30, Doyle said it was filmed in June. The deal with Cuban and Sacca was signed in late August after the due diligence process.Doyle said he became involved with the business by managing student apartment rentals as an intern during his time as undergraduate at Notre Dame. “We realized there’s a huge market for people who want to rent homes on game weekends,” Doyle said.Doyle said Rent Like a Champion began in South Bend, but expanded to other college towns when he realized the scalability of the business model.“We can do this not just at Notre Dame, but we should be doing this at Penn State, at Michigan, at Florida State, all of these college towns around the country where this service makes sense,” he said.This approach led to rapid growth, Doyle said, with an average growth rate of 80 percent over the last three years and a projected revenue of $4.1 million for 2015.“It’s gone from me knocking on doors at Penn State to a team of seven employees,” Doyle said.Although Rent Like a Champion was already quite successful, Doyle said “Shark Tank” represented a chance to rapidly accelerate their expansion from their current 21 towns to around 40.“We see ‘Shark Tank’ as this opportunity to take things to the next level,” he said. “We’ve gotten to this point with a nice business that’s working really well, but the sharks are the most incredibly smart and accomplished business people you could possibly meet and they know how to bump businesses up a notch or two.”Cuban and Sacca actively help Rent Like a Champion, Doyle said, by providing advice and support.“They’re super plugged-in and very involved in the business,” Doyle said.In explaining his plans for the future of Rent Like a Champion, Doyle said it is important to note that opportunities for the big event rental paradigm exist beyond college sports.“There’s definitely a model for this outside of just college sports towns, so any big time events that happen with regularity in smaller towns like NASCAR races, PGA tour events, concerts, and even Democratic and Republican National Conventions make sense with our model,” Doyle said.Despite Rent Like a Champion’s track record of success and its plans to expand, an investor on “Shark Tank” episode expressed concern about competition from Airbnb and other companies.However, Doyle said Rent Like a Champion has a unique business model that differentiates it from Airbnb.“We’re really event-focused, they’re really destination-focused,” he said.Notre Dame senior David O’Connor interned at Rent Like a Champion for the past two years and worked to help establish its identity in a market that Airbnb does not serve.O’Connor said this process involved focusing on what their customers wanted and using this information to attract them.“The first summer I was there it was a lot of figuring what works and what doesn’t work,” O’Connor said.O’Connor said a vital priority for the company was making potential renters in college towns comfortable with their online business model.“The demographic tends to be older people with no kids, as opposed to [the typical customers of] Airbnb, 34-year-old young professionals looking to make another $200 a month. We’re trying to get [our customers] accustomed to this digital sharing economy,” O’Connor said.Ultimately, O’Connor said the hard work behind Rent Like a Champion has paid off with its robust growth.Doyle also said the “Shark Tank” experience was a validation of the effort he and his co-founders put into Rent Like a Champion. However, he said they did not plan on being chosen for … “Shark Tank” because the competition for spots on the show was so rigorous.“We didn’t want to put all of our eggs in that basket because we didn’t know if we were one of ten companies vying for spot or one of 1,000 vying for spot,” he said. “There was definitely some ambiguity about how likely this actually was to happen.”Despite the odds, Rent Like a Champion made it onto “Shark Tank,” and Doyle said the final result was exactly what he and Mitchell hoped for.“In a dream situation, if we could have any we wanted, we would do a deal with Mark and Chris together.” Doyle said. “So the fact that Chris pulled Mark into a deal meant it really couldn’t have worked out any better for us.”Tags: ABC, Rent Like a Champion, Shark Tank The opportunity to appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” is offered to a select number of entrepreneurs, but even fewer are able to close a deal with a shark and secure funding for their company.Notre Dame alumni Mike Doyle and Drew Mitchell were able to do both on an episode of “Shark Tank” when they pitched their business, Rent Like a Champion, and landed a deal with Mark Cuban and Chris Sacca.last_img read more

Family living at its best up for grabs in Fairfield

first_imgThe home at 127 Victoria St, Fairfield.AFTER two decades — and a complete renovation — this Fairfield home with dual living and pool is back on the market. Owners Derek and Susan Sanderson bought the property at 127 Victoria St 19 years ago. “Today the house doesn’t look at all like it did when we bought it,” Mrs Sanderson said. “We added another bedroom and ensuite, updated the kitchen, built in the back deck, painted the house and put a fence in. The home at 127 Victoria St, Fairfield.Set on a 733sq m block, the home retains original post-war features upstairs, including high ceilings, timber floorboards and feature cornices. The open-plan living, dining and kitchen area opens to the landing and enclosed veranda, and there is a family bathroom.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020The kitchen has an island bench, pendant lighting and stainless steel appliances. The home at 127 Victoria St, Fairfield.The master bedroom has a built-in robe and ensuite, and the two other upstairs bedrooms have built-in robes. Downstairs there is a second living area and kitchen, a fourth bedroom and a study.The living area opens to the paved poolside entertaining area and there is a laundry, bathroom and toilet. Mrs Sanderson said the home would be perfect for buyers searching for dual living. center_img The home at 127 Victoria St, Fairfield.“We’ve had au pairs over the years, so that’s what we used that extra area for, but the home would also suit an extended family,” she said.Mrs Sanderson said she was sad to be saying goodbye to the home but the time had come for her family to move on. “My babies were born there and now they’re teenagers so I’ll miss all those memories,” she said. “I’ll also miss the community. We’ve lived here such a long time and it’s such a lovely community.”last_img read more

Real survive scare to win club cup with Ronaldo hat-trick

first_imgBy Chris GallagherTOKYO,(Reuters)-Real Madrid suffered an almighty fright before a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick hauled them back from 2-1 down and gave them a 4-2 win over rank outsiders Kashima Antlers in the Club World Cup final yesterday.Two goals from Gaku Shibasaki stunned the European champions as the Japanese hosts took a 2-1 lead early in the second half before a Ronaldo penalty brought Real level on the hour.The 11-times European champions then survived several more scares and a possible sending-off for captain Sergio Ramos before Ronaldo scored twice more in the first period of extra-time.Real, who won the tournament for the second time in three years and were crowned champions for a fifth time overall, appeared set for an easy victory when Karim Benzema gave them a ninth-minute lead but Shibasaki changed the story by levelling one minute before halftime.Kashima were the first Asian team to reach the final although they qualified for the tournament as champions of host nation Japan. Asian champions Jeonbuk Motors had lost in the quarter-finals.“We knew it was not going to be an easy one. They were very aggressive,” Real coach Zinedine Zidane told reporters.Real went ahead when Luka Modric’s volley was parried by Hitoshi Sogahata and Benzema tapped in the rebound.Kashima refused to be overawed, continued playing their neat football and snatched a shock equaliser just before the break.Shoma Doi’s cross found Shibasaki, whose first touch was poor but he was gifted a second attempt when Raphael Varane failed to clear and he smashed the ball into the net.Shibasaki struck again six minutes after the break when he collected a poor Real clearance, got away from three opponents and fired a low shot past Keylor Navas from 25 metres.Real were facing their first defeat since they lost to VfL Wolfsburg in April, a run of 36 competitive games, until Lucas Vazquez was bundled over by Shuto Yamamoto and Ronaldo converted the resulting penalty on the hour.Kashima continued to give as good as they got and had three good chances in the final minutes of normal time.Fabricio’s goalbound drive was tipped over by Navas and the Costa Rican goalkeeper came to the rescue again one minute later by blocking Mu Kanazaki’s shot after he got free of the Real defence.Yasushi Endo could have won it with the last kick but fired wide at the far post while Sergio Ramos was lucky to escape a second yellow card for a push on an opponent, a decision which Kashima coach Masatada Ishii said “lacked courage”.Ronaldo ended Kashima’s dream when he collected Benzema’s sliderule pass and fired past Sogahata eight minutes into extra-time, then settled the match six minutes later with an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.“We gave Real Madrid problems,” said Ishii. “That’s what we were able to do. But we made small mistakes in positioning and judgment so it’s frustrating.”last_img read more