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JumpStart Invests in DIY Real Estate Solutions

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

JumpStart Inc., the Northeast Ohio venture development organization that accelerates the growth of innovative early-stage businesses and ideas, announced an investment commitment of $400,000 in DIY Real Estate Solutions (DIY), a Cleveland-based software developer that offers a complete management solution to the residential rental property management market.

The DIY software is a comprehensive web-based management solution for rental property managers and their renters that includes property management tools, such as an accounting system, a marketing portal, and a resident portal. Of the 33 million residential rental properties within the United States, DIY is targeting small and midsized property managers who often lack affordable access to the integrated tools available to their larger competitors. DIY charges a monthly subscription fee (in keeping with traditional Software as a Service (SaaS) models) and generates additional revenue through transaction fees for related services such as tenant screening, debt collection and electronic rent payments. The company has developed several marketing and distribution relationships and partnerships with ancillary service providers, including TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, National Apartment Associations, Lifestyles Unlimited and Landlord Academy, and already has over 100 customers.

Behind the DIY product is a management team with more than 84 years of combined experience in developing and marketing software solutions in the property management market. The co-founding team includes Chairman of the Board Robert Lasser, Chief Executive Officer Steve Lloyd, and Chief Technology Officer Donald Katt.

JumpStart Entrepreneur-in-Residence Lee Poseidon, who will be working with DIY, is impressed with the company’s position in the market and prospects. “The combination of the team’s industry expertise, their understanding of the needs within the $1.67 billion residential rental property management market, and their established relationships with industry associations, puts DIY out in front. They are among the first to introduce a SaaS model to this market, which gives them a significant first-mover advantage,” Poseidon said.

“We are excited to be part of the JumpStart portfolio of companies, especially to have access to a broad range of talented individuals who are experienced in accelerating the growth of early-stage businesses,” said Steve Lloyd. “We see this relationship as a game changer in that it brings together a depth of skill and knowledge from two organizations for the benefit of the property management marketplace.”

This is JumpStart’s 44th investment in its 33rd company. Other information technology companies in JumpStart’s portfolio include Ayalogic, Banyan Technology, InSeT Systems, Inspiron Logistics, Knotice, and PreEmptive Solutions.

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About DIY Real Estate Solutions
DIY Real Estate Solutions (www.diyresolutions.com) is the developer of highly intuitive, web-based property management software solutions designed specifically for the independent rental owner and manager of apartment units or single-family dwellings. With headquarters in Cleveland, OH, DIY is the ongoing vision of a group of real estate software professionals dedicated to bringing Software as a Service (SaaS) alternatives to an industry currently underserved by technology. DIY is driven to be the premiere advocate of the independent rental owner and manager in the multifamily industry. The company provides leading edge, real estate-specific solutions online including: comprehensive lease management functionality; complete property accounting integrated tenant screening and debt collection servicing; electronic rent payments via credit cards and ACH processing; and state-of-the-art marketing and resident portals. Software is delivered over the web, reducing complexity and the cost of software ownership while increasing functionality and ensuring affordability for customers.

About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart (www.jumpstartinc.org) accelerates the growth of innovative early-stage businesses and ideas into venture-ready companies by delivering vital, focused resources to entrepreneurs and the community of Northeast Ohio. JumpStart identifies and invests in early-stage companies that have strong potential in the marketplace, solid prospects for high growth, and are likely to qualify for later-stage funding. Beyond investing, the JumpStart team provides a continuum of business development services to its client companies to help ensure their success.