FREDERICTON – Building or flipping a house is hard.
It’s even harder when you want do it in a way that isn’t completely bad for the environment.
That’s the struggle Matt Daigle was dealing with. The former employee of Radian6 and Mariner Innovations likes to flip homes in his spare time, but his last project left him with little spare change.
“I was dumping a lot of money into this home. I looked at my wife and at the end of the month, our power bill still looked the same. We weren’t investing in the infrastructure of the home in ways that could make it more energy efficient and essentially saving us on the operational costs of a home,” Daigle says.
“And by default, we weren’t really doing anything to help lower our footprint as consumers either.”
After diving into the “green home building market” online, Daigle found that it was difficult for the average person to determine what the hell they were doing.
“I figured out you either need to become an expert in this stuff . . . or you can totally rely on a contractor and I didn’t like either of those answers,” he says. “Talking to more and more homeowners kind of validated that I’m not the only one who didn’t like the answers.”
Daigle saw the opportunity to find a different solution.
Rise is an online platform that connects homeowners, home improvement professionals and retailers/merchants through meaningful spaces and smart products. Basically it aims to take the pain, confusion and stress out of building an environmentally conscious home.
“What we’re creating right now is what you would call an ‘interactive look book’,” Daigle says.
“We’re showing very nice pictures of homes inside and out, and we’re tagging and incorporating this visual flow that allows you to discover more about how that room came together with the best product and the best pick.”
The look book will also show the numbers behind the designs, so you’re able to understand why a certain product works best in a specific setup as opposed to others. For retailers and service providers, Rise provides a place to showcase their portfolio and sell their wares. The platform will have a curated market place for retailers to sell their products.
Daigle says they’re in the middle of raising their first round of investors. The company is getting ready to launch its MVP (Minimal Viable Product) and is looking for homeowners and home improvement professionals to sign up as early adopters. The Rise team already worked with incubators and accelerators such as Propel ICT and B4 Change. This year they will also be working with Greentown Labs, which is an incubator based in Boston.
“They have an amazing network in both members internally, but they are also very connected to other incubators throughout the States,” Daigle says. “Obviously they have an investor community as well, so from that side, it’s a huge advantage for us just being a part of their team.”
The company is expected to have a full market launch by the summer – starting with a rollout in cities like San Francisco and Vancouver. The goal is to ultimately change the way people build homes.
“We seek to inspire people to think a little bit differently and to build their home with a bit more purpose. We also want to show people that you can save money while doing this. For us, we’re on a mission to bring next-generation home building to people today.”