RoommateFit creates compatible roommate pairings based on personality traits. To date, the company has matched more than 7,000 students. Mares has also been accepted into the Pittsburgh startup incubator AlphaLab, where he received $30,000 in startup funds and office space.
In 2010, Mares entered the National Elevator Pitch Competition with RoommateFit and took 2nd place, winning $2,000 in prize money.
“Winning the pitch competition actually funded the first year of operations,”
Mares said he won the competition because of one key difference. “I was one of the few students pitching who actually had some sort of business and it wasn’t just an idea,” Mares said. “I had somebody who actually wanted to use this service and had a real product and a team behind me, so it was easier to sell.”
“The Elevator Pitch Competition gives the country's brightest young entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their businesses and win the funds they need to take it to the next level,” said Dr. Timothy Stearns, Executive Director of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Presented by the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization, this year's National Elevator Pitch Competition was held on November 1-3 in Chicago. It is the largest elevator pitch competition and presents students with a unique opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges and a chance to win cash prizes. Past participants have received national exposure and gained new customers, partners and investors in their business or idea.
As one of the leading entrepreneurship centers in California, the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, located at California State University, Fresno assists both students and community members in pursuit of their entrepreneurial goals. The Lyles Center delivers assistance through applied learning, professional consulting and managed problem solving. As a recognized leader in entrepreneurship education, The Lyles Center uses its strategic position to leverage resources from the entire community to assist innovators and entrepreneurs in the development of their businesses. The Lyles Center acts as a bridge for the campus and community, linking resources of both to achieve success in the marketplace.