Come see Our Frontier Crowd and all the Great Eight Finalists in the Wharton Business Plan Competition pitch live, for over $125,000 in prizes, at the Venture Finals, Thursday, April 28. Register here.Team Leader: Greg Hagin WG’16 (WEMBA PHL)
Team Members: Aristide Toundzi WG’16 (WEMBA PHL); Robert Specht WG’16 (WEMBA PHL); William Chan WG’16 (WEMBA PHL); Nadir Bilici M’19
Our Frontier Crowd is the premiere residential real estate platform dedicated to investment opportunities in Africa. Our technology harnesses the insights of the crowd to connect African real estate developers and potential home buyers with foreign investors, who seek a chance to earn outstanding financial returns and create measurable social impact.
What’s new and exciting about your business?
Our business has some incredibly exciting momentum right now. We recently embarked on a 10 day due diligence and investment tour to Africa where we met with high ranking government ministers, local real estate developers, regional financial institutions, potential fund investors and likely homebuyers as well as local attorneys, architects, builders, engineers, bankers and families. Additionally, we’ve made some significant progress with Limited Partner conversations, sourced several promising deals that are ready to go and secured new funding to further develop our proprietary signaling technology.
How did you come up with this idea?
The specific idea for Our Frontier Crowd emerged out of Ethan Mollick’s Entrepreneurship course last year when our current team developed our MVP and articulated the full commercial potential and social impact of our idea. For about six months before the class, we had been discussing the incredible infrastructure and development opportunities on the continent, which is realizing the most exciting growth trajectories in the world right now. All in, we’ve been developing this idea for more than a year now with classmates, professors and alumni through private equity courses, independent studies and investor pitches. The nurturing and challenging of the idea from everyone has been awesome.
What does it mean to you to be one of the eight Finalists in the Wharton Business Plan Competition?
It’s a real thrill and a real honor. There are so many amazing teams and businesses that compete in this competition every year and it’s a privilege to be among them.
What’s one fun fact about each member of your team?
Aris only drinks orange juice when we celebrate wins.
Rob is a recovering options trader from the exchange floor.
Will recently jumped out of a plane for the first time to mark his executive promotion.
Nadir is where brain science meets software engineering and will probably create the first T 1,000,000 after medical school.
And the guys tell me that my biggest contribution to the team has to do with my hair.
If you win the Perlman Grand Prize ($30,000 cash prize, $10,000 in legal services, $5,000 in accounting/strategy services, GLG Share Fellowship), what will you do with the money?
The business opportunity for Our Frontier Crowd is massive. Think 54 countries in Africa all in need of 1 million housing units given the trending demographics and urbanization rates. By its nature, it’s also complex and will require savvy legal and accounting professional services to handle cross-border transactions, currency hedges, language translation, contract enforceability, and operating agreements. In other words, we will put the services awards directly into operationalizing the business immediately. The cash prize will enable us to further develop our due diligence technology and conduct another country visit to build out the local platform.