NeighborING, a new startup company, is the brainchild of Josh Mundell, a Concordia University Irvine: Business School graduate and current Concordia University MBA student. The company is creating just-in-time jobs for college students while also helping local Orange County neighbors: one chore at a time. As an easy-to-use, family-friendly service, NeighborING® promotes both community and relationships by connecting Neighbors, who need chores completed (but don’t have the time, energy, or skills to do them) with college students who need the part-time work. The neighbors get their chores done, and the college students get help with higher education expenses. It’s a win/win.
Two years ago, when looking for summer work, Mundell overheard his neighbors complaining to his mother about the chores they had to complete. He also knew many of his friends were looking for intermittent employment. Mundell realized he needed to connect these two groups, and that the “old-fashioned” concept of “neighbor helping neighbor” could be revitalized through today’s technology—readily available on cell phones, tablets, and computers. The idea for NeighborING® was born.
Mundell wasted no time in putting his entrepreneur-focused, business education to work. He designed and registered the NeighborING® logo and name, formulated a rapid-deployment business plan, and brought on two business partners: Christian Ampe, a 2016 graduate from the University of California Irvine, and Manuel Zorn, another Concordia University Irvine: Business School classmate. The trio also sought senior expertise through consultations with CUI business professors, including author and consultant, Pamela Wade, and other business professionals—like Abe Maghaguian, President and CEO of Atlantic Pacific Processing Systems, a large, credit-card and ACH transaction company. Mr. Maghaguian is also a CUI School of Business MBA alumnus. Additionally, the NeighborING team conducted extensive market research. The responses continued to exceed expectations: 85% of households surveyed said they would hire local college students to do their chores (as opposed to other sources), and 94% of college students surveyed said they would use the NeighborING process to secure part-time work.
Last May, Mundell led the team in securing $5,000 seed money, by placing 2nd at CUI’s annual Cornellius Business Plan competition. Subsequently, they participated in Chapman University’s “Calfornia Dreamin” Series, pitching their product to interested investors and other entrepreneurs. This past Fall, NeighborING was selected as one of five teams in UCI’s 2017-18 business incubator program, Wayfinder. Within the teams selected for Wayfinder was representation from Harvard, Cal Poly Pomona, Yale, M.I.T., and other top-tier universities. Most recently, the NeighborING team was named the inaugural project for CUI’s School of Business Incubator.
In announcing the release of their NeighborING website, this young Irvine-based company is primed for business. Within the first month, more than 30 CUI students signed-up to work, were background-checked, and are currently responding to neighborhood requests for help. The list of chores is far-ranging: from organizing help to cleaning-up yards to helping with the holidays. The most requested chores seem to involve in-home tech support and babysitting.
Mundell asserts, “People want relationship; they want to help each orther, and today’s modern connectivity provides a way for neighbors to once again, reconnect with each other, especially across generations.” Irvine’s Patriot Aquatics, a local Water Polo club, is among the first community partners to support NeighborING by promoting the service with their parent groups. Likewise, Mundell has several co-branding relationships with realtors in the works. “Neighbors appreciate helping us succeed and pay for school. Together, we are making a difference.”
Headquartered in Orange County, CA, NeighborING® is a privately held, integrated tech company, committed to helping neighbors connect with neighbors, across generations, using current technologies.