by Teresa Novellino
College students on more than 300 campuses looking for temporary jobs as a babysitter, tutor, cater waiter or sales clerk are turning to a new tech platform called QuadJobs that links vetted students to families and companies that need help.
“It’s different from other job boards in that we’re interested in helping them find flexible work,” cofounder Bridie Loverro told the New York Business Journal in a phone interview. “Eighty-five percent of students are on financial aid, but with extracurricular activities and their classes, it’s very hard for them to commit to a steady, part-time job.”
She and her two cofounders, who knew each other socially, launched the Greenwich, Conn., company last October using $550,000 raised from angel investors followed by a $300,000 round consisting of convertible debt that can be converted into equity. Each have different backgrounds, including as entrepreneurs: Loverro is a novelist who cofounded Blue State Coffee, which now has seven stores; Betsy O’Reilly was a managing director with Deutsche Bank, who also cofounded an arts education startup; Andra Newman previously worked for J.Crew and Abercrombie & Fitch as head of recruiting and also started her own executive search firm.
The QuadJobs platform, which now has more than 5,000 students using it, started out in just the New York City metropolitan area, but has expanded to first Columbus, Ohio, and as of last month, Chicago. With the next six months, they’re heading into Philadelphia; Nashville, Tenn.; Minneapolis; and Atlanta.
“It’s a combination of where there are huge populations of college and graduate students, and places where we feel like we have a great friends and family list,” Loverro said. “Then we can get on the ground and do some of our own communications.”
There are other platforms that take advantage of the itinerant workforce with venture-backed startups based in San Francisco — UrbanSitter, GigWalk and TaskRabbit among them. But the founders of QuadJobs wanted to specialize in college students specifically. Although the platform focuses on work for families (babysitting is its biggest category) and small, Main Street-type businesses, sometimes the students get hired for office work, including social media, project-based design work and even internships.
This article was originally published by Upstart Business Journal on June 18, 2015.