Rupert Hunt, founder and CEO of the roommate matching service spareroom.com, has selected two roommates to share his spectacular three-story Greenwich Village loft with roof deck, who will each pay $1 a month in rent for six months.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” said Jacob Castaldi, 22, an entrepreneur who dropped out of college to start the socially conscious clothing company ivoryella.com.
“We’ve given more than $700,000 in the past 18 months to Save the Elephants,” he explained.
Now in the process of starting up a social media marketing company, Castaldi moved from Rhode Island into his luxurious new digs on Sunday, and is thrilled to be closer to other digital media entrepreneurs.
The other roommate is Cyrus Schenk, 26, a window cleaner planning to start a company selling skis that adapt to changes in speed and terrain, according to The Guardian.
Hunt, who recently moved from London to New York City, invited prospective roommates to apply to live with him on spareroom.com, saying he believed that cohabitation beats living alone and he was looking for people to help him kick-start a new life here.
“I don’t want affordability to get in the way of finding the right people,” who could enhance his life as he could enhance theirs, he said.
More than 8,000 people applied, but only fewer than 1,000 submitted videos as requested by Hunt.
“That was a requirement,” noted Castaldi, who said he made the cut by following directions, citing interests, values and musical tastes he was likely to have in common with Hunt — and by being truthful about his shortcomings. Hunt, said Castaldi, advertised that he would welcome a “roommate who was a good cook. But my cooking repertory — outside of peanut butter and jelly — really doesn’t have much to it.” Luckily, the loft has two dishwashers.
While Castaldi may have the option to re-up in six months, he admits he fears being spoiled by his remarkable auspicious start in NYC. “Anywhere else we move from here would be a downgrade. That’s our motivation to make the most of it,” he said.