21 May 2015

Dana Hoffmann: Portico


Dana Hoffmann (MBA 2015)

Tell us about your business.

Portico is an online platform of tenants. By capturing tenant qualifications and housing preferences before a tenant's next move, we provide the curation and quality of a traditional rental broker but use technology to scale and refine property recommendations.

Tell us about yourself.

Before school, I worked at Apple and supported new product introduction forecasts and worldwide financial reporting. I have a strong passion for technology, simplification, and delighting other people with new ways of doing things. Today, my primary interest is breaking down barriers and pain in renting a home. I am inspired by companies such as LinkedIn and eHarmony, which fundamentally shift the market to a more consumer-centric approach, allowing people to find one another through technology.

What did you learn from HBS?

I am currently working on my fourth idea, second venture. I would not be as far along without my HBS education. The coursework and Rock Accelerator program taught me to focus on the pain point, think strategically before jumping into an idea, be scrappy, build the best team, and don’t forget passion. The New Venture Competition experience made me realize the power of pitching. You can have an incredible idea but without getting others inspired about it, you don’t have anything.

Where is your business headed in the future?

We are creating the largest community of tenants looking to move. We represent tenants, similar to a traditional broker, but through an online platform. We provide a la carte services and advice to help tenants throughout any move process. We are also hoping to eliminate the stigma associated with renting (rather than owning) a home.

What do you, personally, hope to accomplish in the future?

I want to build something that makes a large difference in other people’s lives. I want to wake up every morning feeling like I have changed some part of the world, no matter how small it is.

An interesting fact or two about yourself.

I am a certified paraglider (free-flying, foot-launched activity), and typically fly the California coast. I am also the first woman to win a belt buckle in calf dressing at the California Rodeo.

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