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Nicos Tombros - Acomorate

accomorate

CEO: Nicos Tombros

Website: https://acomorate.com/

N dot Tombros at warwick dot ac dot uk



Our enterprise project

Acomorate is a student-property website that aims to give prospective tenants the most accurate information possible about their future residence. We aim to do this through a collection of unbiased reviews that give the tenant all of the important information that the estate agent often forgoes mentioning during the letting process. Examples of this could be how attentive the landlord is or whether the neighbours mind loud music; both problems that tenants often only come to terms with when they have already committed to a contract. To encourage these reviews from the students we aim to partner with different popular venues which would reward a review with a discount on a future purchase.

We came up with this idea when we all were complaining about the different problems our houses had. One particular problem was a neighbour who filed an official complaint to the council after we “shut our doors too loud”. Our landlord said he was aware of this neighbour and made it clear that, although it wasn’t our fault, he would be forced to evict us upon a second noise complaint. This problem made it evidently clear to us that if the previous tenants had spoken of this problem we may have selected a different property, and thus Acomorate was born.

We then started going about the project, with our lead programmers Nicos and Luke working tirelessly in their spare time. Our team leader, Nicos, then applied for a grant from the Student Enterprise Fund (SEF) through a two-minute video pitch briefly showcasing the website. Following this we then had to do an in-person pitch to a board of four from the SEF. Having secured this grant we are now looking at how best to invest the money to catapult Acomorate forward, as we aim to be online by the end of April 2018.

Our enterprise skills

When the idea came to us we had little to no idea as to how to move forward with making it a reality. To move past this, it required a lot of thinking on our feet and the constant ability to improvise, adapt and overcome. Many of the ideas we were putting forward simply wouldn’t work in practice, but the important factor was that we were invested in the project on a day to day basis. Knowing when to be critical of an idea and knowing when to run with another is a difficult skill. This intuition we are currently building simply through practice.

Further skills that were necessary to the project were the tech skills afforded to Luke and Nicos through their degrees and self-teaching. A lot of trial and error was required to get the website to the state where it’s nearly ready to launch and the disciplined work ethic that they have displayed has been incredible. The dogmatic attitude to fail in order to succeed is critical to a project’s success.

The final skill that was key to the project was being able to network and find people who are interested in the idea. Warwick University was great for this as it was straightforward to apply and prepare for the grant. We believed in our idea and we just needed to present and demonstrate it to those who could help get it off the ground, which was made much more straightforward by Warwick’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme.

 

Our enterprise support

The first huge case of support we have had is from our friends at Warwick University who gave us their honest opinions on how to improve our project. Peer reviews often can be biased, but we have found that by bouncing the idea off of friends that many of the kinks we ourselves would have overlooked have been worked out.

The other major support we received was from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programme and Student Enterprise Fund, as the steps they took to make sure anyone with a promising idea could apply for a grant were invaluable. Due to our limited experience, it really was important that Warwick had bodies such as these available, and hopefully we can use their amazing support to make Acomorate a successful venture.

Our enterprise reflections & visions

So far, we have learned a tremendous amount, however the most important component to success is hard work. None of what we have achieved so far would have been possible without grinding daily to push the project into existence. Whilst ideas fly around during the creative process, the key is to filter out the non-important suggestions and put everything behind getting the project up and running. As it is no good having the best idea in the world if you never do anything about it.

Our vision for Acomorate is that it will hopefully extend to a national feature, where anyone can get an honest review of their future property. We aim to make profit through advertising and the exposure we provide to the businesses that partner with us, however our primary focus is to build and then maintain the trust that users will have in Acomorate.