How two tech entrepreneurs and their families came to call Georgetown home
Tech entrepreneurs Jordan Wright and Scott Weinert aren’t your typical 28-year-olds; in fact, they’re not even your typical tech entrepreneurs. With several businesses under their belts, young families, and $1.2 million raised in Series A funding, these friends and co-founders are on the fast track to achieving the American dream—all before turning 30.
Some might say their success began in 2012 when the pair launched Pingplot Inc., the holding company under which they’ve jointly launched tech companies Comfy and Unbill. However, the cards began stacking in their favor long before then.
Where it all started
Though they didn’t know each other as children, Jordan and Scott had similar upbringings. Both were raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, both are sons of successful entrepreneurs, and both shared a penchant for starting entrepreneurial ventures—even as children.
At 12, Scott was given an old computer—sans mouse—by an uncle who no longer had use for the outdated technology. In order to use the computer, Scott tinkered with it, teaching himself commands and codes to type out. He caught on quickly and by high school was landing freelance gigs designing websites for businesses.
Meanwhile, Jordan was already trying his hand at serial entrepreneurship. At eight, he developed a product concept for a wood dinnerware company. At 10, he started a chicken coop and was selling eggs to his neighbors. Soon after, he built the Hogwarts castle in his parents’ barn and began charging neighborhood kids for entrance fees and concessions. By his senior year in college, Jordan was employee 10 at a successful startup company, working full-time and going to school full-time. One day he’d fly out for business, and the next he’d fly back for a final.
Though Scott and Jordan hadn’t yet met, fate seems to have conspired to bring them together: First, they both moved to Provo, Utah, for college—Jordan attended Brigham Young University while Scott attended Utah Valley University. While in Provo, they both entered serious relationships with their future wives, who both happened to be studying Public Health at BYU. Next, they both served in leadership positions at the same church. And perhaps even more coincidentally, they shared a relative in common: Scott’s uncle was not only Jordan’s great-uncle, but also his boss.
“It was kind of fate. It was like we were going to meet each other at some point; it was just a matter of time,” says Scott, Pingplot Inc. cofounder and CTO.
The two finally met when Jordan was asked to train Scott as ward mission leader at their church. At 22, Jordan had just married and was transitioning to a new volunteer leadership role in the church.
“One of my first interactions with Jordan was when he passed that assignment on to me,” recalls Scott. “I got to learn how capable and effective he was. It’s funny—you talk about finding your cofounder kind of like you talk about finding your spouse. It’s that type of relationship where you end up sharing so much trust. It’s like a marriage, except you spend more time together.”
Getting down to business
In July 2012, the two began talking about teaming up to build a mobile app catered to college renters. Jordan would lead customer acquisition, and Scott would take point on building out the prototype.
“Living in Provo and finding an apartment are difficult for many people,” says Jordan, Pingplot cofounder and CEO. “There weren’t any good mobile experiences, especially for college students who are signing leases with other people or renting a single room. The needs are very different from more established people’s needs.”
Their brainstorming resulted in Comfy, a mobile app that helps college students find single rooms to rent. After their first check for $50,000 came in, Jordan quit his job and Scott scaled back on freelance projects to pursue his ventures with Jordan. They both took huge pay cuts, which was challenging for their families, who depended on them as sole income earners, but their wives—Josett Weinert and Allison Wright—remained supportive.
Luckily, the gamble paid off. By fall of 2013, Pingplot had raised $400,000, and the cofounders decided it was time to relocate their company to a larger tech hub.
“At the time, we were both okay with leaving Utah, so we looked into four or five places: Austin, the Bay Area, New York, Boston, and Seattle,” says Scott.
As a hub for tech companies, Austin held promise; however, after Jordan’s aunt suggested they check out Georgetown, he agreed it was the perfect fit—close enough to Austin to experience the business benefits but small enough to hold the charm of a smaller town. In the end, they moved into the same apartment complex and set up shop in an office on the Square.
“Coming here was a great move for us. Businesswise, here in Texas, six of the top 10 student-housing management companies are based out of Texas; and there are student-housing conferences in Austin and Dallas every year. And on a personal level, we love it here! It’s a great family town. I can drive home to have lunch with my wife and kids, or they might swing by after visiting the library,” says Jordan.
Their newest venture, an app called Unbill, began in 2014 and launched officially in March 2015. The app aggregates monthly bills, splits the expenses between roommates, and then pulls the money from their respective accounts to pay rent, water, utilities and internet expenses on time. The app draws on much of the same market share as apartment rental app Comfy, but for Scott and Jordan, it’s a much more sustainable business.
“It’s funny to have a tech company on the Square, but it’s amazing here,” says Scott. “We think we chose well.”
For more information on Unbill, Pingplot Inc.’s newest venture, visit unbill.us.