When their friend needed help moving into a house off-campus last spring, Parker Pell and Ben Siegel gladly lent helping hands. But what started as volunteering to help a friend quickly inspired a business venture, once they realized how many soon-to-be-graduating students would need help moving in the coming months.
From that initial idea came QuikFix, an online site that connects local homeowners who need odd jobs done with students who can do the work. Pell and Siegel’s website describes the company this way: “QuikFix is mutually beneficial, promotes connectivity, and provides a working relationship between community members and college students that has never existed before.”
Pell and Siegel are mainly focused on the operational side of the business, matching students to the work orders that come through the QuikFix website (www.quikfixjobs.com) and by phone, and then collecting payments from QuikFix users. They are excited, however, for the launch of a QuikFix app, which is currently in beta testing. Pell and Siegel have combined aspects of popular apps such as Tinder and Uber to create one app that streamlines the process. “Homeowners will post on the app and it will go out to all the students who are signed up. They’ll get a push notification and, if they’re free, they can just swipe and accept it,” Pell explains. “They’re then put on a messaging platform that connects them with the customer. When the job is completed, the student will get rated on a one-to-five scale.”
Pell and Siegel, both juniors, credit their backgrounds as economics and business majors, respectively, for their initial success in creating a viable business plan, but their real-world experience refining their business model, and the connections they have made within the Memphis community, have been invaluable. “The founder of Choose901, John Caroll, is on our advisory board, and we’ve talked a lot with Eric Matthews, a Rhodes alum who started Start Co.”
Pell and Siegel say that the skills and business knowledge they’ve gained have given them the confidence to expand their business. In Memphis, the company has grown to include University of Memphis students, and the two have plans to launch QuikFix in Atlanta in January and then Charlottesville, VA, after that. “Our vision is to establish the business in every college town in the country,” says Pell. “When people have an odd job, we want them to think of QuikFix—they can post their job and know a student’s going to be there.”
Pell and Siegel were recently interviewed by the local news; you can watch the full interview here.
By Katherine Hancock ‘19