Fabian Dudek (22) is Student Entrepreneur 2014. At the beginning of September this student of Strategic Management won the Student Entrepreneur Award. In the same week he also received the prestigious LOEY award for the best Dutch entrepreneur in the online industry in the category Marketing & Media.
The Student Entrepreneur Award’s jury describes Dudek as ‘a student entrepreneur who in his way of speaking and thinking, in everything he does and says, projects the intense enjoyment and passion of entrepreneurship.’ Yet another EUR student, Jasper Gabriëlse, with his company Seepje, was also among the winners.
Dudek’s company, Nestpick, is an online platform primarily designed to help students look for living accommodations. The apartments on offer are visited, photographed and assessed by Nestpick. The company promises renters to help them find housing within 48 hours. Dudek hopes to sideline dishonest landlords this way. ‘We have set a new standard for the way in which generation Y is looking for housing. Completely online and without the intermediation of a property agent.’
Dudek is elated about the recognition he is receiving with both awards. ‘It is a wonderful compliment and fantastic in terms of our reputation. We hope to receive additional investment as a result so that we can lower the costs for renters.’ Nestpick is currently asking for half a month’s rent; however, if Dudek has his way that will go down this year.
Nevertheless, criticism is also being levied against Nestpick. No brokerage fees may be charged to renters for independent accommodations, but only to the landlord. Minister Blok of the Ministry of Housing wants to introduce this concept for shared accommodations as well. According to some, Nestpick is unjustly charging brokerage fees. ‘That is preposterous. When, as a start-up, you attempt to change things, you will always be subject to criticism; there will always be people who do not like the idea. Just take a look at Uber and AirBnB.’
According to Dudek, Nestpick is not doing anything illegal. The fee he charges has nothing to do with brokerage fees. ‘We only charge for the service costs associated with visiting the apartments and keeping the website running.’ He also perceives the criticism as insulting. ‘Everyone working for Nestpick is sincerely convinced that we are involved in setting a better and more reliable standard that improves the renter’s position.’ TF