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Topic: Startup

AIM 2022 Session Recap: 5 Startup Companies You Should Know About

Five startup companies were invited to take the stage to share their companies’ stories.

Kari Warren, Chief Operating Officer - Management at Kairoi Residential; and Mark Chrisman, Managing Principal at 29th Street Ventures; hosted the event that featured Marcus Higgins, Chief Operating Officer at Landing; Lily Liu, Chief Executive Officer at Piñata; Fatima Dicko, Founder and CEO at Sugar; Kerri Davis, Founder & CEO of Fortress; and Jude Chiy, Founder & CEO of Flamingo


  • Provides financial incentives to residents who do things such as pay their rent on time (in any transactional manner), comment on review sites and other good behaviors. 
  • Incentives include $100 in value through gift cards and rewards programs such as receiving 20 cents on gas and $30 when shopping at Costco, among other things.
  • Clients can customize the incentivize based on things they want their renters to take action on.
  • No integration needed because Pinata operates from its own app, and customers can brand it with their company logos.
  • Helps residents improve their credit score by posting their rental payment history with the major credit bureaus.
  • Provides data on your renters’ behavior.


  • Partners with property management companies who can earn revenue via Landing’s furnished flexible-living apartment homes network across all major markets for renters. 
  • Minimum stay is 30 days and residents can then move onto whatever market they want to live next either for work or play.
  • It’s in approximately 375 cities, covering 24,000 apartment homes and is 92 percent occupied.
  • Residents needn’t have to deal with annoying packing, moving vans, utility changes or recurring security deposits. It takes about 5 minutes to move in to a new residence.
  • There are never any deposits or application fees. Members can save up to 40% compared to the cost of other furnished housing options.
  • Landing has three times the housing inventory as short-term rental providers and at about one-third of the cost. 


  • It’s a resident services app that addresses many necessary apartment living functions by combining the features of the leading consumer apps and merges them with property management companies.
  • A sense of community is so important for renewals. If they get to know three people who live in an apt, the chance for renewals goes way up. 
  • It integrates with residents’ personal calendars so they can track important dates such as when service requests are being filled or things are due.
  • It tracks resident data and there’s a manager portal that displays analytics so that managers can work more efficiently.

"It's more than just a way to pay rent, it helps residents connect as friends or to help out fellow residents by doing dog-walking, etc, said Fatima Dicko, Founder and CEO at Sugar.

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  • Originated through it serving as the property management system for Elmington Property Management company as it goes through “crazy growth mode.” Clients now represent 35,000 apartment homes.
  • The best way to describe it is that it’s truly an operations platform – not one driven by a back-end accounting system.
  • Its focus is guest cards, applications, texting and emailing prospects, centralizing work orders, and more. Walker & Dunlop invested in Fortress six months ago, saying, “this is a huge opportunity in the industry.”
  • It solves clients’ biggest pain points: Training onboarding and support; transparency for all employees; and modern access to data through easy-to-use, centralized, automated functions that deliver real-time, actionable data.
  • 100 percent of its users say it’s “easy”; 88 percent say they would recommend it over top brands; and 79 percent say Fortress saved them an hour or two hours per week versus big brands.
  • Soon-to-be product updates to include in-system revenue management and reputation management functionality.


  • Residents don’t want to have to deal with a dozen or more apps to live at a community.
  • It’s one app for the full resident journey; whether to pay rent, reserve amenities and much more.
  • So many processes at the site level today are menial and are performed manually at the site level; staff are tired of doing them every single day.
  • The app is being used at more than 1,000 communities, helping those site teams have more time to drive resident engagement and provide service.
  • Flamingo launched at start of pandemic at the Atlas Oakland (CA) community. Given the paradigm shift that COVID-19 created, Atlas needed one app to solve most functions during that time and now that strategy has carried to today.
  • It integrates with Butterfly, Yardi, Parcel Pending and KeyMo, among other software, driving automation and self-service options.


AIM 2022 - 5 Startup Companies You Should Know About-high

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They are complimentary for AIM attendees for the thirty days following AIM. 

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