Amulya Parmar: One conversation can change everything
Amulya Parmar, an undergraduate student studying both computer engineering and business administration, has started multiple businesses, launched product across the US, been a speaker at the United Nations, given TEDx talks, and more. Behind each of his accomplishments was a conversation that helped propel him forward.
Amulya started his first company at the age of 15. While attending a top-ranked high school in Michigan, he realized that not everyone had equal access to skilled learning opportunities. So he took $100 of his 15th birthday money to buy a computer server and created his first website dedicated to education. At the same time, he launched a hosting company to offset some of the costs, but soon after started offering space for free and eventually sold the company.
In 2017, he created Host Your Voice, a digital marketing accelerator for nonprofits. Just one year later, Host Your Voice was named one of five partners of the United Nations. Amulya shares: “What started as a cold message on a social platform led to a call, and eventually a partnership.”
Thanks to the international success of Host Your Voice, he’s been to the United Nations three times, most recently in 2020, and was invited to give a talk at TieCon Detroit 2017 – Michigan’s largest entrepreneurial conference. [watch Amulya Parmar’s talk]
At the UN, he met Paul Pilozzotto, a former president of CBS and founder of Givewith, which is dedicated to driving company growth while funding environmental and social impact programs. After this conversation, Amulya was invited to recruit students at the University of Michigan for Givewith.
For Amulya, this was just the start of his entrepreneurial and engineering journey.
As a student in Ann Arbor, Amulya was looking for housing, and grew tired of having to personally visit every location to get an idea of the living conditions. So in March 2020, he co-founded the company LeaseMagnets.
LeaseMagnets offers apartment communities the ability to provide important information to potential renters visiting their website by creating realistic virtual tours. He’s taking a semester off to devote his attention to the company, which took 2nd place at the annual Ann Arbor SPARK Entrepreneur Boot Camp Celebration (behind an established company that had raised $50M in the past year).
Outside of entrepreneurship, his summer internship with JP Morgan was extended so he could continue working on a machine learning solution for business automation. “I was co-responsible for rebuilding an entire automation pipeline in multibillion dollar commercial pipeline,” said Amulya. He’s also participated in a three-day machine learning hackathon in Israel sponsored by Google for Startups, where he received an award for being the most impactful hack.
Let’s hear directly from Amulya.
Tell us about LeaseMagnets, your latest startup:
It started quite simply, I created a chatbot tour booking app to help people book tours easily, it dramatically increased conversions for those properties. But this year, I realized that there was an additional opportunity to also provide in-person like video virtual tour. This idea became a catalyst LeaseMagnets as it grew from Ann Arbor to many states across the country in a matter of weeks. And that turned into LeaseMagnets. We started with student housing, but it’s now moving well beyond that, and we are currently in almost 20 states.
We [the LeaseMagnets team] are blessed to have very passionate advisors who are true industry insiders involved in the company. We’ve been profitable since day one, so we haven’t yet accepted any outside investments in the company.
What are you most passionate about:
I’m very passionate about communication, and removing friction from processes and experiences that help people. Even something as simple as getting a virtual tour on demand can be simply deconstructed to a friction that I personally experienced and I aimed to solve.
Additionally, I am passionate about bridging the gap between digital and physical experiences. I was the inventor of the first way to share contacts two ways via a QR code with my app Cardz (Play Store), and LeaseMagnets is the first way to take a virtual tour as if it was an in-person tour. I believe the disruption of large physical industries like malls, real estate, and education to digital formats has begun, and COVID has been their catalysts.
Additionally – I belong to a few organizations that support students with disabilities, including LimeConnect. I grew up with some idiopathic hearing loss, and I learned the importance of hearing others, and I found my own internal voice through that experience. I have no doubt that this contributed to my passion for communication, and making sure other voices are heard.
When did you first discover your creative streak:
There were two things. I have always written my ideas down in my idea books. I would write down ideas for problems that I thought I could solve, along with 10 bullet points of the impact that solving the problem would have on others. I’ve been doing this since I was very young, book after book after book. And I would pitch my ideas incessantly to my Mom and my sister. I have the most amazing supportive family with my Mom, and my sister, and my grandmother.
The second was the piano. I would play music by other composers, and then almost by accident I started playing around with a couple notes, and started adding notes, and I wanted other people to enjoy the music I was creating. It’s like entrepreneurship. You start small and build on it, and you want someone else to enjoy It. When I first put out my first public performance of my impromptu composing music at the University of Michigan Creativity Exchange, I just wanted to share some of my compositions, but it actually turned into my first few paid gigs for my pieces at the University of Michigan.
I am building a development bootcamp and hiring platform/community called BuildMy.App to enable entrepreneurs with the best way to learn Fullstack or hire full stack talent to enable them with confidence that they can “Build my app.”
Outside of that community, I aim to launch a book and article series called Resource to Resourceful and podcast called “One Conversation can change Everything” on Host Your Voice.
“I’m super grateful for the University of Michigan,” said Amulya. “It’s been the most supportive university I could have ever asked for on every level: entrepreneurship, machine learning, software, creativity, even business.”