By Regina Stracqualursi
As seniors across the country begin the final semester of their college careers, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute student Jake Szwarcberg is doing that and much more. This semester, he and his cofounder, Nick Campana, will also launch Ventur, a company that offers a social media app designed specifically for the real estate industry.
Previously, Szwarcberg, a dual major in industrial and management engineering and business management, and Campana, a dual major in finance and business economics at Sacred Heart University, ran Venture Videos together, a business that focused on the production of media for real estate listings throughout the Capital Region and southern Connecticut. In working with their clients, Szwarcberg and Campana witnessed firsthand some of the key “pain points” real estate agents face, such as having to manage multiple platforms, spending a high cost on leads, and operating with a lack of analytics on the platforms being used.
An entrepreneur at heart, Szwarcberg felt compelled to find a solution to these problems. “The biggest takeaway from my education at Rensselaer is the courage to tackle complex problems,” he said. “The satisfaction of solving a problem and creating something that people love drives me every day.” The idea for the social media platform originated from Keara McGraw, graduate student at Marist College and now Ventur’s creative director. “We were able to establish a strong founding team comprised of peers and industry mentors, allowing us to put a lot of bright minds into the issues that we faced,” said Szwarcberg.
Ventur addresses such “pain points” through a combination of features from traditional social media platforms and real estate listing websites. The app allows a dedicated space for conversations between the sellers and buyers of homes — a big differentiator to the current real estate sites where customer information is often first circulated to a middleman.
“Our platform eliminates the auctioning of information that occurs on existing sites, providing the most personal and transparent experience possible,” said Szwarcberg. “This transparency produces a level playing field that promotes opportunities for success to all parties involved.”
In addition to Szwarcberg and Campana, the inaugural Ventur team includes McGraw, Chris Penman, content production team member and student at University of Rochester, and Glen Rundell, a team member who is president of Advanced Information Management, a technology firm focused on software development.
After closing a successful seed round, Ventur will officially debut this March. Watch as Szwarcberg discusses Ventur and his inspiration for developing the app:
To learn more about Ventur, visit https://www.myventur.com/.