Getting to know Margarite (CEO & Co-founder BunkUp)

Every month, BunkUp Founder, Margarite, will answer three questions about the roommate struggle, running a startup and life in general. Got a question for Margarite? Don’t be shy, email us.

What inspired you to create BunkUp?

My friends were constantly reaching out to me to play roommate matchmaker. I thought, There has to be a better way. I hated that my friends had to go around asking everyone they know if anyone needs a roommate or sift through thousands of Craigslist posts or have their Facebook posts about needing a roommate go unnoticed.

I wanted to create a solution to help millennials find other like-minded people to move in with. Fair warning, I’m not guaranteeing that you will become BFFs with your roommate, but I know BunkUp will make the process significantly less painful.

How exactly does BunkUp work?

It’s easy – it takes less than 5 minutes. I would actually argue it takes about a minute, unless you’re a user who has an apartment with an available room. Then, it may take you a few extra minutes to upload some photos.

You use Facebook to sign up to identify mutual friends who might be roommate matches. We’ve found that most people value connection over everything when choosing a roommate. After you confirm your personal information, you’ll enter your roommate preference, apartment preferences, and lastly, location preferences. BOOM! Now, you have a list of users who meet your selected criteria and you can safely and securely connect through the app. Oh, and the app is completely free to use for your roommate search.

Tell us about a time you had to find a roommate?

Several years ago, I got had a short-term opportunity with Goldman Sachs to work from their Salt Lake City office. I was excited to experience life in Utah and everything it had to offer. Being new to the city, I thought it would be great to live with a roommate. Someone who was from the area, knew other people, places to go, etc.

But I wasn’t sure how to find that person. Like everyone else, I knew Craigslist was an option, but preferred to avoid it. I also couldn’t ask friends of friends because no one I knew lived in Salt Lake City or knew anyone out there. Lucky enough for me, my company had an internal bulletin board filtered by city, which is how I was able to find someone local who happened to have a bedroom available for rent in the apartment (Hi Jeff C.!!). Thankfully, it worked out for me, but i saw the enormous opportunity to help others.

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