According to a 2022 survey by the self-storage company Neighbor, one in five college students has less than $100 in their bank account. As a former college student, this doesn’t surprise me. I remember going to Meijer with friends to return cans for grocery money and attending events on campus just because they offered free food.
Adam Green faced a similar struggle during his undergraduate years at Michigan State University. He frequently donated plasma just to make ends meet, and he knew there had to be a better way.
His new company, Stunio, hopes to empower college students by connecting them with flexible opportunities to earn money while simultaneously providing local businesses with a reliable platform to find extra help.
“The idea for this company started two years ago when I was sitting on the floor of my dorm room,” Green said. He met his business partners, Hemkesh Agrawal and Collin Pavlov, through MSU’s Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in 2021.
According to its website, the Burgess Institute provides programs, courses and resources that foster an entrepreneurial mindset and help students create new ventures. In short, it helps students make their business ideas a reality. From connecting students with lawyers and marketing professionals to paying for patents, the Burgess Institute offers students an opportunity to kickstart their companies before “life hits and all the real-world expenses kick in,” according to Paul Jaques, the Burgess Institute’s managing director for venture creation. Staff also encourage students to connect with each other to form personal and professional connections with other aspiring entrepreneurs.
With Agrawal’s expertise in computer science and coding, Pavlov’s background in data science and politics and Green’s laser focus, the trio worked together to launch the original versions of the app, first known as UniServices. After months of testing and revamping the app, the team rebranded and created a sophisticated matchmaking algorithm to help students connect with potential job opportunities.
“We want to give our customers the best experience possible while making sure they’re able to get their jobs done,” Agrawal said.
Students can choose from multiple categories of odd jobs, such as yardwork, moving, tutoring, cleaning, pet care and event support. Once they’ve selected a category, students set their pay rate and availability and list their location. Within 10 minutes, they receive recommendations for jobs near them and have 90 seconds to confirm which job they want.
“This is the beauty of the app, the flexibility,” Pavlov said. “If you get offered a job but have class or a prior arrangement, you can deny that job, and it will go to the next person in line that is interested in that type of work”.
Stunio is available to students attending MSU and Lansing Community College, but the developers plan to expand to the Rochester Hills and Grand Rapids areas soon.
The newest version of the app officially launched on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store Sept. 1. Users must register with their student email address. Last week, Green posted on his personal LinkedIn that Stunio reported a 100% booking rate within the first few days of its launch. In the coming months, the app will partner with other Greater Lansing organizations like the Lansing Lugnuts, tinkrLAB and its first nonprofit partner, HelloSteam, for further job opportunities.
Stunio is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
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