Brian Gaudio, Drew Brisley, and Hallie Dumont know how to appeal to 21st century American Dreamers. Together, they make up the Module – a company that reimagines urban housing solutions.As one of our Alloy 26 fellows, we got together with Brian, CEO and Co-Founder, to hear the story of how Module got its start.
Q: Tell me about your startup journey – how did you get to where you are today?
A: The inspiration for starting Module came while I was directing Within Formal Cities – a documentary about the housing crisis in South America, which debuted in 2016. Making this film confirmed my belief that architects and designers have a role in making our cities better, especially when it comes to housing. My startup company Module is a vehicle to build better housing here in the US. This company was little more than an idea last November. Since then, we’ve proven that people value our new approach to housing, and now we are trying to build a business.
Q: Tell us about your product/business?
A: Today architecture is a luxury service that only the top 2% afford. Module brings good design to a mass market by re-imagining what a home is for the 21st century. We’re calling our first product “incremental housing.” Instead of taking out a huge mortgage for a huge house, our houses start small, but they are designed to grow with your family. The house changes as your needs do or as you can afford it. With our modular design and patent pending structural system, it’s easy to convert a one bedroom starter unit into a three bedroom house.
Q: Tell us about yourself, your background, and team (if applicable)?
Prior to starting Module, I was living abroad as a Fulbright Scholar in Santiago, Dominican Republic. I’m trained as an architect, and my design experience is in both the for-profit and nonprofit world. I’ve worked in Blue Sky Department at Walt Disney Imagineering where I helped create new ride concepts for the Disney Parks, and as an architectural intern at the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.
My team is also passionate about housing and design. Drew Brisley is trained as an industrial designer and brings startup experience to the team, having co-founded a medtech startup in Raleigh, NC. He’s listed as co-inventor on four patents and has a deep understanding of customer research.
Hallie Dumont is a designer who loves to create efficient and honest, user centered spaces. She has degrees in Communication Design from CMU and Interior Architecture from Chatham University. She spent years working hands on in home remodeling and also designed a Tiny house with award winning Architect Eric Fisher.
Q: What’s next for your company, and what are you most excited for?
We just joined the AlphaLab Gear 2016 cohort. For the next nine months we will be prototyping our technology and proving out our business model. I’m excited to continue learning about the entrepreneurial process and to build our first pilot home right here in Pittsburgh.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?
A: My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is the sense of pride people have for our city.
We sure take pride in our members and love when they get recognized for the amazing things they do. Check out Next Pittsburgh’s showcase on Module’s journey and a sneak peak of their Within Formal Cities film, which is being screened on November 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s theater.
Alloy 26 Fellowships
Are you interested in free work space? The Alloy 26 Fellowship Program is a unique opportunity for startups, entrepreneurs, makers, non-profits, or other great organizations, headquartered in Pittsburgh with 5 members or less, to be a part of the Alloy 26 community. Applications are NOW OPEN and key benefits of the program include:
- Free 6 months of dedicated desk space at Alloy 26
- Your logo featured on the Alloy 26 website
- Opportunities for tickets to events, conferences and other opportunities
- No strings attached (no equity required, no obligation to stay beyond 6 months)
- The application deadline is November 20th, 2016 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. One application per organization. We expect notifications to begin in December.