Featured Startup Pitch: Flipgigs is tapping into social networking to connect high school and college students with quality full- or part-time jobs

By Editor July 18, 2012

Flipgigs_logoCompany: Flipgigs

Website: www.flipgigs.com

Founders: Jayati Sengupta

Headquarters: San Francisco

Year Founded: 2012

Twitter: @flipgigs

Brief Company Description: A social network that connects consumers and businesses with high school and college students looking for full- or part-time work.

Jayati_Sengupta-FlipgigsBy Jayati Sengupta, Founder

Product Overview

Flipgigs is a social network that connects consumers and businesses with high school and college students looking for full- or part-time work. While everything else has gone social these days one thing that has continued to be stuck in the old ages is the way students source odd jobs and gigs. Traditionally, the way students would find these jobs was through their parents’ network, school officials or simply by knocking on doors. Not much has changed since then. That’s where we come in. Flipgigs provides a platform where students get to showcase their passion, skills and directly connects them with businesses that are looking for local services.

We mainly focus on services that students excel in, such as: academic tutoring, music mentoring, sports instruction and babysitting. Local employers can now leverage students for new age jobs like social media marketing, blogging and traditional jobs like market research, writing, programming, marketing and sales.

Founder’s Story

Not too long ago I decided to help my talented teenage daughter look for a writing gig. Sadly, I didn’t come across anything worthwhile and we gave up her search after some time. Students today typically have a plethora of skills that are indeed valuable. For those that love to write, earning money ought to be that much simpler. You would think that there are opportunities out there to allow them to write power reviews, high-volume blogs or forum posts. However, on some sites finding these gigs often means wading through garbage and scams. On some other sites, the poor response was perhaps because students end up competing against businesses and professionals advertising their services where talent was largely ignored due to lack of experience. On some popular sites, I was alarmed to find inappropriate posts existed alongside ‘writing’ gigs which made her question the integrity of the site.

Convinced that there was no single platform that had a solution to this problem my daughter and I faced, I set out to build a ‘gig marketplace’ for students that incorporated social networking features that they were familiar with.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

Flipgigs is a social platform and there is a greater trust associated with real identities unlike some other job or temp-finding websites. It’s not difficult to calculate your reliability, consistency, and responsiveness from the trail you leave as you engage with others on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, which are built into the platform. This also enables a certain amount of word-of-mouth marketing. In the future we’ll look towards on-campus marketing.

How We Differentiate from the Competition

Unlike some of the hot task-focused marketplaces such as TaskRabbit or Zaarly, Flipgigs is less about errands and more about services that students are typically interested in—namely academic tutoring, music mentoring, sports instruction and babysitting. That, along with our social differentiation from typical job finding sites differentiates us from the competition.

Business Model

We plan to get revenue from advertising targeted at the students that use Flipgigs. This is a large market with about 28 million college students and 16 million high school students in the U.S., according to some sources. All together they represent about $60 billion in future buying power. We also have plans to charge for premium services to users on top of our free basic subscription and employers are required to pay a job posting fee.

Current Needs

Due to our need to rapidly scale to meet the early demand we’re finding in this market with, we’re looking to raise $500K to $1 million that will go towards hiring and investing in the platform technology.

Flipgigs.com – www.flipgigs.com