At the CMU-IEA Summit
On Friday, April 12th, I and Jude “Yoda” Regev, Founder and CEO of Jointer.io, attended the the 8th Annual CMU Summit on U.S. – China Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh. The summit is sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University U.S.-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Association (CMU-IEA), a non-profit student organization that provides a two-sided platform connecting American and Chinese entrepreneurs with leading venture capitalists, and industry leaders.
One of the most anticipated sessions at the Summit is the Annual New Venture Competition, which brings together leading entrepreneurs who pitch their ideas to top-tier angel investors and venture capitalists who serve as judges. The judges select one new business to receive the “Most Promising Award.”
Our approach was simple. We framed our pitch by telling the story of how there is a major historical problem in the workspace industry: tenants only want to rent a desk, and landlords want to rent a large area. WeWork stepped in and solved this issue by providing the landlord with one check while providing tenants the ability to lease one desk.
A similar problem has existed in the commercial real estate industry for more than 200 years. Investors want to diversity because of this, sponsors cannot receive one check and they have to do syndication to raise funds. Our Jointer tokenization model solves that problem.
Unlike standard tokenization models, Jointer offers an end-to-end public tokenization platform that provides property owners with liquidity for their equity and also helps them instantly unlock their equity at zero cost. To make this concept scalable, an unlimited number of property owners can tokenize their properties at the same time. If reserve funds are available, tokenization takes place instantly.
This design allows an unlimited number of investors to lend unlimited funds by purchasing Jointer’s JNTRx tokens, which are backed with cross-collateral generating an interest rate pegged to the Global All REIT index.
The Jointer concept resonated with the judges, who awarded us the “Most Promising Award.” This was particularly siginificant for us, because Jointer doesn’t just make good business sense, our platform has the potential to change people’s lives. The commercial real estate world is tacitly governed by tradition and rules: it’s all about who you know and how much money you have to invest. Real estate has always been a way for people of all walks of life to rise out of their circumstances, but it’s not easy to get started, especially when you don’t have a large bank account or assets to collateralize a loan. Jointer can help level this playing field by lowering the barrier to commercial and opening the industry up to all people, not just the privileged few.
This concept of equality and opportunity seemed to resonate with people at the Summit, who come from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Maybe we were selected as the Most Promising not just because of our sound business plan, or our passion for our idea, which we believe came across in our presentation. Maybe it was also that Jointer ‘s philosophical premise resonated with the judges and attendees. Conference speaker ZhenFund, partner at Yusen Dai, urged attendees to take a harder path, and we know Jointer is taking people into uncharted terriority. But we also believe we can be the change we want to see in the world, and think the judges saw that too. Most Promising Award – it’s not just for Jointer. It’s for all.