Free Rent, Courtesy Of Unsuspecting AOL

Many young people expect to spend some time couch-surfing when they're just starting out. For Eric Simmons, the couch came courtesy of an unsuspecting AOL. Simmons had been enrolled in an incubator program at the tech firm's Palo Alto campus. And when the program ended, the card that gave him access to the building kept working. That key card unlocked the solution to his housing problem.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: uninvited couch-surfing.

Many young people expect to spend some time sleeping on couches when they're just starting out. For Eric Simmons, the couch came courtesy of an unsuspecting tech firm. Last fall, the 20-year-old entrepreneur was working for a program housed at AOL's Palo Alto campus. When his time in the AOL building ended, he had nowhere to go and couldn't afford to pay the rent. He recounted his story to the tech website CNET.

A key moment for Simmons was when he discovered his AOL building badge still worked and so Simmons decided to live at AOL, sleeping on couches, showering at the company's gym, eating the company's food and working long days at an empty desk developing his startup. It worked for two whole months. He got a lot of work done on his startup and barely spent any money. Then one morning he was found sleeping on a couch by a security officer and the free ride came to an end.

Though not long afterwards, he scored $50,000 in investment for his new business. He spent part of it on a home office where we presume he gets to sleep in an actual bed.

And that's the business news here on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

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