ROOMATIONS RECEIVES $20,000 INVESTMENT FROM START GARDEN
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., August 28, 2014 – Roomations, an online platform that crowdsources interior designers to make custom room design easy and accessible to everyone, today received an additional $20,000 investment from Start Garden, the $15,000,000 seed fund based in Grand Rapids, Mich. The announcement was made during the fund’s monthly Update Night.
Roomations, which received a $5,000 initial investment from Start Garden on May 29, brings together homeowners with expert interior designers through an entirely online process. Homeowners complete a simple quiz, answering questions about personal style and total project budget. After that initial step, several designers put together a styleboard that represents the individual tastes of the homeowner and the recommended products for the room. After a user selects a design, the designer provides a custom 3D room design and a shopping list.
“Roomations is hassle-free management of interior design, without time-wasting home visits or appointments,” said Katie Miller, founder of Roomations. “Homeowners can redesign entire rooms in fewer than ten days.”
Miller used the initial $5,000 investment to prove that her Roomations idea was desirable, feasible and viable during a 90-day experiment. Her tests included two promotional tactics, including a referral campaign and a sponsored blog/influencer campaign.
“We were impressed at your 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.”
Update Night provides social accountability to the Start Garden ecosystem. Entrepreneurs are required to present their experiment in three minutes before a live audience, and receive feedback from members of the Start Garden team. Teams that received $5,000 discuss their key learnings to prove whether it was viable, desirable and feasible. Portfolio companies updating on their $20,000 or greater investments explain where they are after nearly a year in the Start Garden ecosystem.
Start Garden heard from five additional companies, all $5,000 experiments that did not proceed to the next level of investment, during the August Update Night. These include:
- Folyo - E-commerce platform connecting art students with the art world
- Networkingout - LinkedIn for health/wellness with a collaborative user experience
- Storyverse - A mobile app that is a fusion of games and storybooks
- This Day in Art – Online Battle of the Bands for artists
- Caredisplays - Software that allows caregivers to accurately update communication
The Start Garden management team accepts ideas with potential to become businesses through startgarden.com. Each week the Start Garden team selects an idea and the broader community on the website endorses another idea to receive $5,000. Start Garden can continue to invest up to $500,000 in a single idea. Learn more about submission criteria at startgarden.com/help/criteria.
The next Start Garden Update Night will take place Thursday, September 25. Learn more about Start Garden events at startgarden.com/events.
About Start Garden
Start Garden is an unconventional venture capital fund that invests in more than a hundred ideas a year in small increments. To date, it has invested more than $6 million into startup companies. The program brings financial, intellectual and social capital to ideas at the earliest stage by connecting them to the resources of an entire region. Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it is founded by Rick DeVos whose past projects included ArtPrize, 5x5 Night, Momentum and Spout.com.