In the world of academia, students face a multitude of challenges.
One often-overlooked challenge of uni life is the struggle to find suitable and affordable off-campus housing solution.
Three determined University of Alberta students—Kevin Mpunga, Jean Bruce Koua, and Kwasi Boateng—recognized this predicament and decided to create Elev, a digital platform designed to turn a difficult task into a seamless experience.
Their shared experience of being students burdened with high residence fees and the process of securing off-campus accommodation served as the impetus to their solution.
The entrepreneurs are united in their mission to ensure students found their ideal “Home away from Home,” striving to improve the way students navigate their housing journey.
Elev provides a blend of features that makes the process of finding the right off-campus housing easy and efficient.
For example, whether the student is looking for an apartment that allows pets or needs a place with a garage, Elev has a customizable search option to match preferences. And in addition, the platform ensures automatic payments through Stripe integration. Other built-in features and services, such as booking viewings and signing leases, all happen within the app, saving students time and money.
For hosts, Elev has a comprehensive suite of features, from listing and showcasing properties to scheduling viewings, managing tenant applications, creating and signing leases, and even handling maintenance issues. Built-in messaging allows for communication between hosts and tenants.
Elev takes a cut up to 4% of monthly rent—1% from the Host, and up to 3% from the student, depending on “several factors like how much the rent is, what time of the year the booking is made, and how long the lease lasts,” according to the founders. They promise that students and hosts “will always be shown how much fees are taken, right from the beginning; this amount will be fixed throughout the lease and will never change.”
The Edmonton-born startup is currently a local contender in the now-nationwide Digital Commerce Bank Calgary Fintech Award competition.