Sam Mere is making some sacrifices to help college students find side jobs.
"I’ve got a $20 food budget I shop on each week,” said Mere, founder of the new app CampusPro.
He holds down a part time retail job while working full time to get his app off the ground.
"I have been bootstrapping this whole time and you’ve got to make sacrifices as an entrepreneur,” said Mere, who graduated from UAlbany in 2016.
"We give college students the opportunity to turn their free time, skills and passion into cash."
The app connects college students who need services with classmates who can provide them.
"We have variety of different services, whether you need your haircut, you need your makeup [or] you need a photographer for your LinkedIn photos," said Mere.
You need a .edu email address to register. During a spring beta launch, the app had 200 users at UAlbany with 14 service providers in three categories: tutoring, person care and "other."
"We’ve seen a couple magicians magically, no pun intended, magically pop up on the platform,” Mere joked.
It’s free for clients and freelancers. Service providers set their own pay rate and schedule. This fall, CampusPro is running beta trials at Siena, Sage College and RPI.
Mere is reaching out to potential advertisers and expecting the company’s first stream of revenue soon.
"We’re looking at maybe in-app advertisements and more creative ways to get their brand and company out in front of college students," Mere said.
As students return to campuses, he hopes to pitch his app with interns and spark the entrepreneurial spirit.
"I’m here to positively change the lifestyle of college students," said Mere.