As a Chicago native, Erek Benz isn’t phased by the cold, much less entrepreneurship. The young Benz started grinding early running three profitable businesses well before college: a lawn mowing and snow removal company, selling T-shirts at Wrigley Field, and finally spinning records for his company, Discount DJ. Later, Benz’s competitive nature was well served as a defensive end on Northern Illinois University’s nationally ranked football team. Benz graduated with a B.A. in Marketing from NIU’s College of Business.
Soon after, Benz started his first legit company, Position-Tech, where he designed and patented an innovative football cleat design to enhance speed and agility performance that was quickly adopted by numerous NFL and NCAA programs. Benz introduced his product into the mainstream marketplace in retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, and shortly after licensed his design to his largest competitor.
Benz currently resides in Venice as co-founder of CREXi, Commercial Real Estate Exchange, Inc. an LA based commercial real estate digital software and marketplace. This innovative CRE marketplace is a much-needed solution to revolutionizing and expediting the current and otherwise archaic CRE transactional climate.
When Benz isn’t running ship at their Venice HQ, he can be found basking in the California sunshine on the beach, biking on the strand, or serving in his local church. Benz is a member of NIU’s Executive Leadership Forum and Scholarship Committee; he also enjoys volunteering with local outreaches such as the Pau Gasol Foundation.
Intro to the LA Startup Community
This free class is an orientation to help newcomers to the startup scene get acquainted with the exciting world of tech in Los Angeles.