Ross Alumni’s New Venture Offers Fans A Place To Crash During Wolverine Football Games

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You could say that the newest managers of Rent Like A Champion in Ann Arbor are more than a little familiar with the area.

Michigan Ross grads Matt Johndrow and Paul Bockwoldt, both MBAs who graduated in 2011, have recently taken over as town managers of the local chapter of Rent Like A Champion, which provides homeowners ways to rent their homes out to fans traveling in for college football games.

It started in South Bend, Indiana, to help fans find places to stay during Notre Dame games and since then, the Chicago-based company has expanded to over 40 markets, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank, and earned its homeowners over $10 million in total revenue.

“Michigan has one of the largest alumni bases of any university in the world, and may of them live outside of Southeast Michigan,” Bockwoldt said. “When alumni from out of town come back for games, they want to be close to campus, have the room to tailgate before the game with their group, and have an easy experience getting to and from the stadium. Our goal is to provide those experiences to fans and alumni throughout the fall that the hotel in town can't meet.”

“We've already gotten feedback from local homeowners who are glad to know that Paul and I are both local, both alumni of the university and only a quick call or email away,” Johndrow added. “This knowledge has given them assurance that their homes are not just being placed on a website for rental, but that this service is also being managed by local representatives who are invested in their success and in the safety of their homes as well.”

As they grow the business’ presence in Ann Arbor, they’ll be using their Ross education––Johndrow mentioned Jim Price's Venture Creation course and the business plan competitions managed by Paul Kirsch that were sponsored by the Zell Lurie Institute. “To be able to call upon those experiences right here back in Ann Arbor with the opportunity to build something that supports both our alumni and our local community is really the best of both worlds for us,” he said.