Alex Ryzer wants to help you hire students for home services (like snow shovelling)

Alex Ryzer wants to help you hire students for home services (like snow shovelling)

Who: Alex Ryzer, CEO, LocalStudent, a company that allows homeowners to hire students for on-demand home services
Company HQ: Remote
Founded: 2019
Employees: 8

How it works: “People who need home services, like snow shovelling, can go to, get a quote and book online. Then a student comes by to do the work.”

Eureka Moment: “When I was 15, I went door-to-door in Richmond Hill asking people if I could help with household tasks, and there was a ton of demand. Years later, when I was in business at Ryerson, I read a study about student jobs—like flipping burgers—being replaced by automation. I figured homeowners always need help, and students need the work, so I started a company that could satisfy both sides.”

How much you spent initially: “About $10,000 of my own money. It went toward building a website, marketing and hiring an operations team.”

Your turning point: “Last winter, there was a really heavy snowfall and we received more than 600 shovelling bookings in a single day. That’s when we realized the company was taking off.”

Your big-time backers: “We’ve received about $50,000 in total, from a few sources, including the DMZ, Ryerson’s business incubator.”

Typical work-from-home attire: “A LocalStudent hoodie and sweatpants. We change our branding every season. In the winter, we go with a blue logo, because it evokes the cold.”

Coolest thing in your office: “A stand-up desk. Sometimes, during Zoom meetings, I accidentally move it up and down, and everyone wonders why my head is randomly bobbing.”

Tech jargon you hate: “UI (user interface) and UX (user experience). It’s how a site looks versus how it works, but people always confuse them.”

The best advice you’ve received: “ ‘Just get started.’ People are always waiting for the timing to be perfect. I think that’s unrealistic.”

The worst advice you’ve received: “ ‘Listen to authorities in your field.’ Entrepreneurship, by definition, is all about creating something new.”

Your tech role model: “Elon Musk. He innovates in industries where people think it’s impossible.”

App you can’t live without: “Blinkist. It summarizes non-fiction books into 15-minute highlights. I just listened to The Lean Startup.”