We’re celebrating Indiana University student innovators and entrepreneurs who are clients of the Shoebox, the university’s student-startup incubator. Located in the Shoemaker Innovation Center in Luddy Hall, the Shoebox provides 24/7 office space to help student entrepreneurs build, launch and sustain their businesses.
Meet Joe’s Odd Jobs
Joe Rahaim, a junior finance and business analytics major from Ridgewood, New Jersey, and Jack Joliet, a junior finance major from Carmel, Indiana, founded Joe’s Odd Jobs. Rahaim is the CEO, and Joliet is the CTO.
Joe’s Odd Jobs’ prospective clients include anyone who needs help with a household project. Currently, the company operates in New Jersey.
“Our business fulfills a niche market between do-it-yourself homeowners and general contractors,” Rahaim said. “We have found that professional landscaping, moving and contracting companies will not respond to smaller projects. We wanted to create a service that made our customers’ lives easier by offering a unique working opportunity for college and high school students.”
Clients log onto the Joe’s Odd Jobs website to post a job; more than 100 independent student contractors then have the opportunity to accept the job.
“Customers receive excellent service from local students, and students receive an entrepreneurial experience allowing them to problem-solve and hone soft skills while interacting with customers,” Rahaim said. “Students apply to work via a video interview and a reference from someone already working with us. We are in the process of instituting a rating system so we can keep the quality of the workers high.”
Joe’s Odd Jobs’ present and future
The company has generated over $50,000 in marketplace revenue since its website launched in February. Before the site was launched, Rahaim and Joliet generated over $200,000 in marketplace revenue when jobs were scheduled by phone, text or email.
“For Joe’s Odd Jobs to reach the next milestone, we are in the process of joining a business accelerator or opening a round of funding to jump-start our expansion,” Rahaim said. “With the money, we are hoping to expand to a variety of college campuses including IU Bloomington, University of Miami and Fairfield University.”
Praise for the Shoebox
“Travis Brown is always open to talk, and he brings a distinguished perspective to any business problem that is put in front of him,” Rahaim said. “In addition, the community of student entrepreneurs within the Shoebox creates a great place to brainstorm and work out problems. Finally, the Shoebox offers scholarships for students to apply to their business. This has been very helpful and has been a great way for us to expand our operations.” – Joe Rahaim
Student startups can apply for 24/7 access to the Shoebox’s office space, which is located in the Shoemaker Innovation Center, Luddy Hall 2150. The Shoebox also collaborates with the Hoosier Hatchery pre-incubator at the Kelley School of Business and Bloomington’s Dimension Mill startup accelerator. To apply for coworking space, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.