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Powered By Passion And Red Bull, Enodo Preps For Public Release

The Enodo team at the University of Chicago’s Machine Learning Venture Capital Summit

After a rigorous cycle of feedback and development, Enodo is launching the public release of a new platform in the coming weeks.

The Enodo team made a big impact in its inaugural year, presenting its platform at Harvard’s 2016 Real Estate Conference and wowing industry professionals with its ability to transform intuitive and subjective market information into quantifiable data. Chief technology officer Marc Rutzen and new chief operating officer Thomas Delaney sat down with Bisnow to talk about how far the platform has progressed and how they plan to introduce Enodo to a larger user base.

Bisnow: How is Enodo transitioning to a public release?

Rutzen: We have been in private beta learning from user interactions for the past couple of months. We recently partnered with the National Apartment Association on a study and released a rent optimizer tool in conjunction with release of the study. We had thousands of users on our rent optimizer, which allowed us to accelerate our beta test. In the coming weeks, we will be launching our subscription product.

Bisnow: Enodo hired a chief operating officer to help begin the transition to public release. What is the process like for marketing a product like Enodo?

Delaney: We can all agree that early adoptors are going to be important to us. They are people who also want to test boundaries, push the envelope and try new things. Enodo is a technology that takes hours and days of research and accelerates it and energizes it into a fast-paced, actionable result. So, I think finding those people who want to act quickly, continually test theories and experiment with different asset management strategies will be important to gaining traction in the marketplace.

Enodo co-founders Susan Tjarksen and Lee Kiser also commented on Delaney's role in the company.

Tjarksen: We are committed to fully developing the Enodo suite of products and engaging a COO was a significant milestone for achieving that goal.

Kiser: Thomas brings business development expertise, organizational strategy and connections to capital to our team. We have really enjoyed getting to know him this last month, and we are happy to have a COO on the team.

Bisnow: What features will be available for the public release?

Rutzen: We are limiting some of the functionality to find the core of what is the most valuable, focusing our efforts on those features. The release will calculate asking rent as a function of the different amenities, and it will also display comparable properties. As you toggle different characteristics of a property, the platform will update the comp set for your property in real time. 

Enodo chief technology officer Marc Rutzen speaking at MIT’s RealDisruption event

Bisnow: You recently returned to speak at Harvard this year, as well as several other university events. How does it feel to have Enodo back in that space?

Rutzen: It is always good to speak at Harvard. I think this time it was a matter of reaching a different audience and talking about the progress we’ve made since our first presentation. We also had a lot of outreach from developers who wanted to join us after our last Harvard event.

Bisnow: Has speaking at universities about Enodo been a good recruitment tool?

Rutzen: It is all about finding the best and brightest real estate professionals, developers and data scientists right when they are fresh and ready to tackle a challenging project. I think one of the benefits of working with a company like Enodo is that you are developing 20% of the product if you join the team at this point. Your actual work will be reflected in what the user interacts with, and that is big deal for a lot of people who are used to working on a small component that they are debugging in a giant enterprise.

Delaney: We are continually adding great talent to our team, and Marc’s speaking engagements at universities like Harvard and MIT have been beneficial to that end. Marc has assembled a fantastic young group of data scientists and engineers, along with interns from schools like Northwestern and the University of Chicago, for our inaugural summer internship program beginning this June.

Enodo chief technology officer Marc Rutzen and his newborn daughter

Bisnow: Enodo has some busy months of testing and development ahead. How do you keep up your energy?

Rutzen: Red Bull. 

Delaney: Being in a startup environment and having the team fully invested in the product and its development brings its own source of energy. Marc’s passion for the product drives the team to put in the necessary hours.

Bisnow: How do you balance the demands of a startup with a personal life?

Rutzen: I had my first child recently, so balancing everything was challenging. It is a lot of work. You need to make the time and take some days where you do not stay as late and you just go home to spend time with family, others you need to put in the full 12-plus-hour days. 

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