New web service caters to grad students seeking summer housing

Roamer's front page

Georgetown Law students have a new way to find housing for their summer jobs, courtesy of their classmates.

The new web service, called Roamer, facilitates an online marketplace for students seeking short-term summer housing during their summer jobs and internships, a process that was formerly chaotic and informal.

Roamer was created by Alexander Galicki and Kentaro Murase (L’15) during their time at Georgetown Law, their business a product of StartUpHoyas Summer Launch Program.   Frustrated by their difficulties finding summer housing during law school, Galicki and Murase decided to be the solution to the problem, instead of just complaining about it.  They came up with an idea and found a program to get started with.

StartupHoyas is a program open to any Georgteown undergraduate or grad school student.  According to Galicki, most of the other participants in the program were McDonough Business School students, although they were not the only law students there.  Galicki said that he was inspired by PayPal co-founder and Stanford Law alumnus Peter Thiel, as well as Georgetown Law alumnus Chris Sacca, who have been key investors in some of today’s most important tech startups like Airbnb and Uber.

One benefit of the StartupHoyas program, according to Galicki, was the influence that other class participants had on Roamer and its business plan.  Developing their business among a group of like-minded entrepreneurs challenged Galicki and Murase to think to the future.

Galicki and Murase were undaunted by their lack of technical knowledge.  In fact, Roamer was easy to develop for them – the software was adapted from a service that allows the creation of online storefronts.  At present, the website only accepts registrants with .edu or corporate email addresses.  Markets currently served include major legal markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Austin and, of course, Washington.  Users can sort listings by price, size, and date.

The listings appear similar to the postings that many Georgetown students are accustomed to seeing on their Facebook feeds, but with Roamer, they are presented in a way which allows buyers to parse through dozens of options quickly.  On the more organized Roamer, listings are accompanied by more in depth testimonials, photographs, and location and timing information.

Initially, the developers believed that creating the website would be more difficult than maintaining it.  However, in practice, they have found the opposite to be true.  “We thought that once the website was created, people would just come.  But even if you have a good concept that people would want to use, you have to spread the word through marketing and advertising.” Galicki said.

Currently, Roamer’s developers are working on a second prototype, building on feedback that they have received over the last six months.  Roamer is also looking to continue its trend of expansion.

Roamer is available at http://www.roamer.io.

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