Seniors start their own BU run company

They plan to pitch their company at the New Venture Competition Tuesday night

BU is hosting their annual New Venture Competition on Tuesday, April 4 at 5:30 p.m. The New Venture Competition is hosted by BU’s entrepreneurial program, BU Buzz Lab, and will take place in the Questrom Executive Dining Room on the fourth floor.

BU undergraduates and graduates pitch their company or idea to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and industry professionals in Shark Tank style. All the applicants have been narrowed down to five teams who will pitch their company or idea for one last time. The winners receive $15,000 to pursue their pitch along with other perks from BU and the panel.

Will Denslow (ENG ’17) and Brian Zitin (SMG ’17) will be one of the five teams pitching their BU run company, Sonder Partners. Denslow and Zitin didn’t want to work for the average nine-to-five corporate company after graduation; instead, they started their own.

Last summer when applying to internships, Denslow and Zitin realized how technologically behind real estate companies were.

“They wanted us to do cold calls and knock on doors,” Zitin said.

After rejecting the real estate company, Denslow and Zitin created their own algorithm to reach out to customers. Denslow and Zitin turned their algorithm into a high-tech brokerage company, Sonder Partners, and began pitching to investors. A few months later, at the beginning of their senior year, they landed themselves an investor. After just a few short months they sold their first building for $1.6 million dollars.

Sonders Partners is completely BU run, including a few of their Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers as salesmen and BU engineers who assist in the programming.

Denslow and Zitin have been roommates since freshman year, and have been starting new businesses out of their dorm room, including a wallpaper company, a BU study guide website, BU Dorm Dining, Sonder Partners, and their Facebook dating app, Crush. Denslow said up until a month ago, their parents “were pissed and kept asking if [they] were applying to jobs.”

After graduating this upcoming May, Denslow and Zitin will be staying in Boston to work for Sonders Partners full-time out of their investor’s office downtown. The company has already taken off, but the New Venture Competition Tuesday night is a great opportunity to further their success.

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