This post is the third in a four-part series about creating a new entrepreneurship program, the Missouri Women’s Business Center, while simultaneously helping entrepreneurs...
After locally-born company EquipmentShare.com announced their acceptance into the prestigious business incubator Y Combinator last week, the company announced yesterday that after its time with the incubator, the business plans to return to Columbia.
“We want to build a funded business in Mid-Missouri,” said co-founder Jabbok Schlacks. “We know the industry here, and we know the guys.”
After 21 years in the construction industry, Schlacks finds himself in San Francisco almost every week, making trips with his brother William to develop their online contracting equipment startup, EquipmentShare.com.
The company took first place at the annual Startup Weekend Columbia in October, where local businesspeople develop company ideas and try to generate funding. The website uses a peer-to-peer platform for contractors to rent and lend construction equipment, providing savings for renters and additional cash flow for lenders.
Last week, EquipmentShare.com announced their acceptance into prestigious business incubator Y Combinator, putting the company on the fast track for growth. Schlacks said that the company was accepted among “six to ten thousand” applicants from around the globe.
Y Combinator has been a driving force behind several successful startups in recent years, including the 2014 Inc. Magazine company of the year, Airbnb. After a company is accepted, Y Combinator provides $120,000 and advising services in exchange for seven percent equity in a company.
“Y Combinator is the best in the industry,” Schlacks said. “It’s the best place to be for a startup.”
In 2011, Startup Weekend Columbia was responsible for launching app-syncing company Zapier; eight months later, Zapier was accepted to Y Combinator, and moved their headquarters from Columbia to California.
Schlacks said that Startup Weekend was instrumental in development, matching his admittedly low-tech contracting partners with the programmers needed to get the business off the ground.
“EquipmentShare is a perfect example of what Startup Weekend aims to do,” said Heidi Furhman, lead organizer for the event. “They are a great group of people, and their acceptance into Y Combinator is a huge deal.”
Schlacks said that businesses in Mid-Missouri are already starting to use the site. As his frequent-flier miles pile up from the trips to California, Schlacks hopes that his company can continue to connect contractors here at home.