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Local Website Startup Geeks ‘n’ Gigs Looking to Bridge Gap Between Employers, Students

Geeks n Gigs LogoWhether you’re a student, parent, retiree or professional, it’s very likely that you have been faced with the age-old problem of “not having enough hours in the day.” There are projects that need to be done, errands that have to ran and sometimes there are tasks that just seem impossible. Four law students at the University of Mississippi have created a website they hope can solve some of those problems, Geeks ‘n’ Gigs.

Geeks ‘n’ Gigs is a website aimed to help students earn extra money and experience, as well as to alleviate the burden from business and other Oxford citizens. It was started last February by Cydney Archie, Ashley Hudson, Joe Prempah and Alicia Netterville, with a scheduled official launch in March.

The first exposure for Geeks ‘n’ Gigs was a presentation in last year’s Gillespie Business Plan Competition. After a successful run there, the group placed second in the the Mississippi New Venture Challenge through Innovate Mississippi, winning a cash prize. In October, Geeks ‘n’ Gigs received a grant from the Rebel Venture Fund which allowed them to finish the development of the website and gain marketing materials.

There are two categories on the website: academic and nonacademic. In the academic sector, businesses can seek out students to complete tasks for them that relate to the student’s major. In the nonacademic sector, “gigs” can include picking up dry cleaning, ordering a coffee, etc. While local businesses will benefit from the academic side, Archie sees a couple groups in particular that can benefit from the nonacademic side.

“Our biggest part of that side is the elderly community as some of them can’t get out and do a lot of things on their own,” she said. “Also a lot of busy parents and professionals. Everyone for the most part really loves the idea and have been very enthusiastic and receptive.”

Alicia and Cydney2 (1)When the poster has a gig they would like completed, they put on the website what they’re looking for in a “geek,” or student. In turn, the students submit bids on the posting, with job posters able to view their credentials on their profiles.

Geeks’ profiles feature their names, majors, skills, gigs interested in, and resume. After a gig is completed, both sides give ratings from one to five on how it was to work with them.

“It’s a rating system that doesn’t just show how well the student performed the task, but also allows students to rate the employers on whether they were great to work with or if they had some trouble,” said Archie.

As far as payment goes, the agreed upon fee, whether it be a fixed or hourly rate, is placed into escrow. Once both sides agree the gig has been completed, the money is given to the geek aside from a 20 percent fee that goes to the website.

Archie said that while there are plans to take Geeks ‘n’ Gigs state and nationwide, having success in Oxford is the most important goal on the forefront of their minds.

“We wanted to start here in Oxford because it’s beneficial to start here and we’ve gotten a lot here in Oxford. We want to progress statewide and help out both businesses and students with the goal being to help bridge the gap between students and employers. It is something positive and can help out everyone.”

Michael Quirk is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at michael.quirk@hottytoddy.com.

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