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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 localstudent.ca, 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.”

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

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.”

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

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.”

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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.”

Alex Ryzer wants to help you hire students for home services (like snow shovelling)
BERLIN, GERMANY DECEMBER 01: SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses on the red carpet of the Axel Springer Award 2020 on December 01, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images)

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

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