December 12, 2011 Ryan Kirlin - Burringo - KAYWEB Angels Portfolio People
KAYWEB Angels Portfolio People
Ryan Kirlin, Burringo
KAYWEB Angels Portfolio People is a section in our Blog that features profile interviews with the people behind our companies! In this interview, we feature Ryan Kirlin, CEO of Burringo.
Tell us your name and where are you from?
My name is Ryan Patrick Kirlin and I'm originally from South Jersey. I attended college at Fordham University in New York City and have lived in New York ever since.
What you had for breakfast this morning?
Two eggs, whole wheat toast, an orange, and a banana. I try to keep a healthy breakfast!
What are your favorite television shows and movies?
My TV watching is very sporadic, so I like to watch tv series on demand so I can watch 2 or 3 in a row. The most recent show I watched was HBO's Game of Thrones. I'm still working on seeing the last two episodes (Ever!) of Entourage.
Any favorite books?
Lance Armstrong- It's Not About the Bike. It really taught me the meaning of persistence.
F Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby. Love the mystery surrounding Jay Gastby.
iPhone or Android or what?
Facebook or Google+ or Twitter or what??
Twitter! Gotta love the underdog.
Who are the hottest startups outside the KAYWEB Angels group right now and why?
Hard to say so let's break it into startups I love the most right now in different categories.
Design: Hipmunk. So clean and awesome of them to come up with a new way to rank flights.
Usefulness: Venmo. They have made the process of collecting rent from roommates/splitting a bill at dinner/any small exchange of money between friends effortless. Solid app too.
Potential: AirBnB. Explosive growth. Will be interesting to see where they head with so many "AirBnB's of (insert industry here)" popping up.
What areas / opportunities are ripe for startups to tackle?
Real Estate, Finance, Healthcare, Education. Prevailing commonality amongst all of these is start ups are largely constricted by regulation in these industries. I imagine more startups will just go the Uber Cabs route, and just fix the problem at hand and dare the regulators to stop them.
Have you done any previous startups?
Growing up I was always the standard little kid entreprenuer. Lemonade stands, selling my mom's old books, collecting cool shells at the beach in the morning then selling in the afternoon.
In college, I was able to create a revenue stream from one of the local bars of $200 a week for doing nothing (college millionaire) but that may be a story for another time!
Currently, I work in the financial industry in New York City.
Outside of your startup what are you passionate about?
Rowing is my passion. I've been rowing for 11 years now. I recently made the U.S. National Team and will be competing at the Pan American Games October 15th-19th.
Who has been or currently is an inspiration to you?
My father. He is the most resilient person I know. He's been knocked down more than anyone I know, but has always found the fortitude to keep moving forward.
He was a grunt for the Marines in the Vietnam War. Being the first in his family to attend college upon returning, he had no real guidance on how to succeed in life. He figured it out though and continues to succeed as an entreprenuer himself.
My mother taught me how to be completely selfless and just help people who need help. Karma will figure it all out in the long run.
You are currently in stealth so don't tell us what you are doing but give us a hint of the problem you are addressing?
We're looking to create a vertically integrated real estate company that's going to transform the way real estate is done. We have a list of problems we want to fix, so all I can say is, Stay Tuned!
What led you to this right now instead of anything else?
My own frustration. Along with my co-founder Dan Arena, we're fixing problems that we want fixed. Through our own research, we've discovered that most people tend to agree with us on the problems that need fixing.
What is your current biggest challenge?
We're looking to do some things that currently are not considered feasible by the market. Our biggest challenge is going to be convincing the market that it is possible, and we can execute on it given the opportunity.
How can our readers help you get to your next step?
If you currently live in New York City, please complete our renter survey, available here.
If you are a broker or landlord in New York City, please complete our survey, available here.
And to everyone: head to the burringo.com landing page and submit your email to stay up to date on our progress!
Let's play a prediction game. Let's say we are 12 months from now, and you are about to present to your board. How would you describe your progress?
We have a strong control of our niche market that we expect to truly seize control of in the next few months.
Our customers are happy with the progress we've made, but are currently being tempted to use "me too" competitors that have popped up in the past few months. Fortunately, the established companies are still viewing us as a toy, but are beginning to get nervous.
We've successfully closed on a Series A round of funding that is going to give us the opportunity expand our product offerings within New York to give the customers more of what they want (and ideas I need to get out of my head).
Our total company size is still very lean (about 4). The ability to outsource some of our technology needs to our trusted partner, Kayweb, has enabled us to continue to focus on growing the bottom line and not overhead.
Now let’s play the reflection game. Think about who you were five years ago. What advice would you give the former you (any topic)?
Minor in computer science.
Get into the New York Tech scene as soon as you arrive on campus at Fordham.
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Go create as much luck as you can.