In a classic case of necessity as mother of invention,
Temple Fox School of Business
student Ofo Ezeugwu has developed a website for renters to rate landlords. He observed that students living in Philadelphia were often vulnerable in the rental process.
"I hatched the idea in February 2012 when I was running for Temple's VP of External Affairs," says Ezeugwu. "Many of my dealings had to do with students' relations with off-campus entities and opportunities. I thought it would be great if students could rate their landlords the same way they rate their professors on RateMyProfessor.com
launched in October 2012 with fellow Temple student Nik Korablin as web developer. The startup's unusually spelled name regularly raises questions, but Ezeugwu explains that the choice of homonym is intentional — the possessive form of the word 'who' signifies a return of ownership to tenants.
Since its launch, the website has grown to include users in multiple schools across different states. A "fall tour" of East Coast colleges promoted the site and encouraged users to rate landlords in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., North Virginia and New York. Students can also rate on-campus housing such as dorms and residential halls.
Next steps include launching a mobile app in early 2014, and incorporating a way for landlords to respond to comments users leave on their profiles. The growing company also plans to hire in the new year.
Writer: Nicole Woods
Ofo Ezeugwu, Whose Your Landlord