Bill Svoboda is an entrepreneur and co-founder of two companies (Coed Monkey and Close Simple) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The success of these companies is built upon the belief Bill holds that “if you are making something people care about, then they will want to share it with the world.” Currently, Bill is working on a book that explains his theory that a good party doesn’t need to be advertised, which should be finished this year.
Where the Idea Began
Bill’s entrepreneurial journey began as he attended North Central University in 2001 to pursue a degree in Business. From his dorm room in 2004, he and his roommate started a custom t-shirt business, Coed Monkey. “I had a horrible experience ordering t-shirts that year…. and my roommate told me we could make creating and ordering t-shirts better,” explained Bill. Word of mouth quickly spread about this custom online t-shirt company and before long Coed Monkey was creating shirts for colleges across Minneapolis.
In 2011, Bill Svoboda became intrigued by a business idea of Paul Stine as the two ate sushi together. Paul shared about creating a social media-like profile for houses on the real estate market. Bill was intrigued with this business venture and began to do research into its market viability. After sitting down with several real estate agents, Bill learned that “our product wasn’t needed, and it surprised me…I heard a repeated theme from agents that buying and selling property is a very complicated process.” So, in it’s earliest stages, Close Simple was focused on providing a tool to follow the buying and selling of a house.
Product Worth Sharing
Through a connection with a real estate agency in Minneapolis (Remax Results), Home Title Company in Eden Prairie became the launching point for Close Simple’s success today. The problem Home Title agents wanted to solve was the complicated communication steps in the title process. As a result, Close Simple created a dashboard to improve the communication between title companies, real estate agents, buyers, and sellers. “The title process has to happen…Close Simple is allowing the most mundane part of the title transaction to have excitement,” explained Bill.
The Close Simple team has operated without raising start-up funds from the onset of the company. The foundation established with customers like Home Title has led to businesses across the region. “We observe real estate companies asking title companies why they don’t have Close Simple communications like other title companies do,” shared Bill. This word of mouth marketing drives the Close Simple team as they continue to make jobs easier for title companies which results in a growing business.
Co-founders Paul Stine, Bill Svoboda, Geoff Bray and a few developers were a part of the original team working on Close Simple. Bill calls the team “rock stars that proactively think of where their product can improve the title process.” In the coming year, Close Simple will be integrating their dashboard with more title software programs that agencies around the nation utilize. Bill predicts that this integration will lead to exponential growth for the company in the coming year.
Learn more from Bill Svoboda and Close Simple as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.