Every other Friday, we sit down with a founder in our space to hear their story. This week we caught up with Jake Marmulstein, Founder & CEO, GroundBreaker.
While working in a real investment firm Jake Marmulstein put in long hours in creating offering documents. All he remembers is staying up long hours to create offering documents, having the document torn to pieces due to some changes and work for few more hours. So he decided to build a software application to make this process efficient. Now GroundBreaker has evolved into an all in one solution for fundraising and investment management for real estate. As part of our Founder Friday Series, he shares his story, challenges, and inspiration while building GroundBreaker.
What did you do before you started GroundBreaker?
I was working in a real estate investment firm in Chicago. Then I worked with the Municipal government in the city of Rio De Janeiro. I spent my evenings at a technology accelerator called 21212 as a volunteer. It was run by a group of Americans and Brazilians. This is where I got exposed to other tech companies and understood how tech can solve real-world problems. I had no background in tech before. I graduated in hospitality management with a minor in real estate.
What inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
I was always attracted to working in smaller companies and having that close access to the management. Also, my father was an entrepreneur. So I always I looked up to him. But when I was working in the accelerator in Brazil, I saw other founders & entrepreneurs doing it. Inspired, I thought this is something I want to do.
What has been your challenge while growing GroundBreaker?
We build and service back-end technology for real estate companies of all kinds, globally, specializing in white-label crowdfunding software for the real estate industry. The challenge right now is refining what I have already built, making it scalable and maintaining it. We need to rationalize the growth that we have today while structuring the company. Being bootstrapped means you have limited resources. So my plan is to build the company in Atlanta once I have the necessary funds.
How do you see the future of GroundBreaker?
In next five years, I want to scale to 1000 customers. Also, I want to offer our customers some type of financing ability for being part of the Groundbreaker network.
How did Atlanta fit in your story?
The city is extremely receptive. I grew up in Marietta, and then left for a while. After I returned back, within few weeks I met the developer community, Invest Atlanta, and other groups. I can see an opportunity for the growing environment for startups.
What advice would you give to a founder who is just starting out?
Don’t quit your day job. Sometimes it’s a long ramp up period. So plan out carefully, attend conferences and speaker series, and talk to other entrepreneurs. This way you can be more tactical about your approach of starting a company.