Recently, the first group of Startup Certified Companies have finished the program. We've interviewed Angela Yang, external link, Co-Founder & CEO of HostTO. Angela is a student of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Ted Rogers School of Management.
Tell us about your startup.
HostTO is a full service short term property management company dedicated to taking care of all aspects of short term rentals. We act on behalf of the homeowners by using multiple booking platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and more! We are recognized by Globe and Mail, international news mediums, as well as mentored by the DMZ Incubator.
HostTO strives to save time for homeowners, so they may allocate theirs to more personal matters. We envision building strong relationships between hosts, guests, and the community. #HostTOeveryone
How did you hear about Startup Certified?
I heard about the Startup Certified through an email stating that they were providing funding for students who are interested in entrepreneurship or wanted to create their own business. At that time, me and my co founders were looking for funding so this was a great opportunity for us to take this so that I can allocate more time especially during my co-op to work on this business. This was a pilot program for co-op students as this was never opened to students who can run their own business as a paid co-op term. I was able to get the approval from my dean, co-op coordinator, as well as Osman who ran the funding for the program to connect the bridges together. Once this was approved, I provided our business plan to ensure that it was a feasible business to work with. Upon the acceptance of our business, I was privileged to be the first student to pilot this program, and due to its success, it is open to all incoming TRSM co-op students, which is very exciting.
How was your experience with Startup Certified?
My experience was nothing but amazing. I was able to not only learn SO much about how to run a business, but to also be able to have the ability to develop so much more about my strengths and weaknesses as a person. It really pushes you and your business to the next level through their resources such as the advisors, mentors, programs, networking opportunities, and even pitch competitions.
How did you benefit from working on your own Startup?
My network has grown tremendously where I was able to meet many business owners with the same vision, new friends, investors, and even a new co-founder to our business. All of these positive experiences wouldn't have been arms reach if it weren’t for the opportunity given by the Startup Certified. This is perfect for those who want to take a risk to run their own business in a very structured guideline for you to ensure success in what you do.
What advice do you have for incoming students into TRSM?
Start taking risks right now when you are still young. Many think or have the mindset that taking risks when they are done school and graduated, and have a steady income is the best time to, but it isn’t at all. When you have nothing but options during your young years, this is when everyone should be trying new things, learning new things, and most of all taking risks! As a student, you are allowed to ask for help and many people will be more willing to help you than someone who is already working and done school. So I definitely encourage students to go and try what you think can’t be done and ask for what you don’t know, because I wouldn’t be here today with what I have now without doing just that.
What do you believe makes TRSM so special?
I believe what makes TRSM so special is the ability to build that bridge between students and opportunities. TRSM is so open-minded on what the next best thing is for students to gain in education and success. This very core reason allowed the opening of the Startup Certified to happen, which I can’t be more prideful about to be a part of TRSM.
What is your plan after graduation?
Hope to have our business expanded to NYC by then! We are really working hard to get there right now so that we can see this happen. “HostTO: New York City”
“You can’t have a million dollar dream without a million dollar work ethic”