While entrepreneurship and engineering may seem to teach diametrically opposed principles, one ASU Barrett student is looking to use his knowledge of both to create a successful startup venture.

John Valentine is a junior studying mechanical engineering, while also taking an entrepreneurship and value creation course. He used the principles of engineering that taught analytical thinking, and rapid prototyping, and paired that with customer-focused problem-solving skills taught in value creation to start his business Re-Lease.

John had lived in on-campus housing for his first two years at ASU, but approaching his junior year he decided that an off-campus residence would be more suited for his needs. The vast majority of students were in the same boat as John and needed to find an off-campus residence for the school year. While browsing the various large apartment complexes in the Tempe area, John found that apartment complexes had many hidden fees and non-transparent pricing. The price of apartments was not readily available online, and fees were not shown or discussed until your bill was prepared at signing. These factors pushed John to look for an off-campus house rather than an apartment.

While searching for houses John found prices and fees readily available, but a lack of available leases for the upcoming school year. He went to a local property management group to find a house to rent, but while finding a house the property manager collected an “application fee” from each of his roommates and himself, but provided no houses to lease in the area. These issues fueled John, and he decided to create a business venture to combat these issues.

Re-lease is an online platform that connects students with homeowners in college areas. Re-lease allows students to upload documents including transcripts and resumes for homeowners to parse and build trust while allowing students to see what houses will be available for lease far before competitors such as Zillow or Redfin. Re-Lease allows students to see transparent prices of off-campus homes in the same period that apartments are being leased.

John applied value creation and entrepreneurship principles to find the problem that students were having and create a solution to solve this problem. Rapid prototyping of different business and platform models taught through engineering led to the creation of his tech-based start-up. Engineering and entrepreneurship combined to create a startup venture through an ASU Barrett student.

Check out Re-Lease’s website here:

View Re-Lease’s EBPD here: