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Episode 13: Move on Up with Undergrads

BTB Ep_13 Undergrads

   Kingsmen Beyond the Build YouTube Channel

About the Episode:

In this episode of the Beyond the Build podcast, host Kevin Carney engages in a dynamic conversation with Tom Mumford and Chris Dyer, co-founders of Undergrads. The episode explores the journey of Undergrads, a unique marketplace connecting college students looking for part-time work with businesses and individuals in need of temporary help. From its inception as a simple idea at Clemson University, Undergrads has evolved into a booming business, expanding into multiple markets across the U.S. and diversifying into sectors like hospitality and event staffing. The founders discuss the challenges and triumphs of entrepreneurship, their innovative approach to scaling the business, and their vision for Undergrads' future. This episode offers valuable insights into starting and growing a business, the importance of adaptability, and the potential of harnessing technology for business efficiency! 

Listen to the episode: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1kDQS7SaGceGcvkEdyA7pG?si=dfc4b0753fd5488e 

Watch the episode: https://youtu.be/WYGo5034QJE 


About the Guests: Thomas Mumford & Chris Dyer, Co-Founders of Undergrads

As co-founders of Undergrads.com, Tom and Chris pioneered a marketplace connecting businesses with college students for on-demand premium talent in the hospitality and moving sector. 

Undergrads was bootstrapped while both attended Clemson University pursuing degrees in Industrial Engineering. Utilizing Craigslist and no-code platforms, Tom and Chris were able to find product market fit in their early days while doing the jobs themselves. Since 2020, they have scaled the Undergrads platform to 14 markets across NC, SC, TX, FL, KY, and NV helping thousands of college students collectively earn millions of dollars around their class schedules. 

Undergrads not only benefits the students who work flexibly around their class schedules, but also the businesses that now have access to premium front-of-house talent from an otherwise under-served talent pool. Businesses can utilize students as event server, bartenders, bussers, or general labor to help facilitate their large events—such as The Super Bowl or US F1 Grand Prix. 


About the Host: Kevin Carney, Managing Partner of Kingsmen Software

Kevin Carney is a Managing Partner at Kingsmen Software. As Client Partner, Kevin assists clients in their transition from Sales to Delivery and then maintains a relationship to ensure successful completion. A Finance major by training, Kevin bridges the gap between business and technology, especially for Kingsmen’s banking and capital markets clients. Kevin has 30 years of experience in consulting to financial services institutions. 


About Kingsmen Software:

We are dedicated, experienced practitioners of software development. We grow software iteratively and adapt quickly to changing business objectives, so we deliver the right software at the right time. Our proven approach combines processes, tooling, automation, and frameworks to enable scalability, efficiency, and business agility. Meanwhile, our advisory & coaching services enable technology leaders, business partners and their teams to learn and adapt their way to sustainable, collaborative, and data-driven operating models.

Kevin Carney 00:10

Welcome to Kingsmen software's beyond the build podcast at Kingsman. We pride ourselves on building enterprise quality software and we have the privilege of meeting some pretty interesting people along the way. Come join us to meet the visionaries, the disruptors, the entrepreneurs and the innovators that envision new technology solutions and then bring them to life. Come join us to hear what happens beyond the build. From the Kingston bourbon studio This is Kevin Kearney, one of the managing partners that Kingsmen software I'll be hosting today's podcast. Joining me today as our sound and video engineer is Bill Creasy, who was not only our intrepid CEO, but also our resident Buffalo Bills fan. Yay. Go Bill's gonna go to the stadium and help shovel this the bleachers. No, no, negative, negative. Okay. All right. Today, we are talking with co founders of undergrads, Tom Mumford and Chris Dyer. Welcome, guys. Thank you. Hey, appreciate it. In a nutshell, undergrads connect students looking to make some extra money in your spare time with people businesses are looking at need some helping hands, whether it's an individual who is need some help moving or a country club needing some extra servers. Appreciate you joining us. Congrats on your success so far. Yeah. Thanks. Absolutely. Thank


Chris Dyer 01:26

you for having us. All right. So


Kevin Carney 01:27

let's start off by giving a better explanation than in my little brief explanation, and then drop some knowledge on his drops and stats, number of people, number of students number of gigs, number of locations, awards, accolades, all that good stuff. And I've got a few notes here. So if you forget something else, I'll bring it in and remind you


Thomas Mumford 01:46

got it. Christina Yun entry, I'll drop some stats.


Chris Dyer 01:49

Certainly. So like you said, at the end of the day, undergrads is a marketplace, we connect businesses or individuals who need a few extra hands with college students looking to make some money in their free time. Easiest way to conceptualize it is think like Uber. We're a technology platform where whether you're someone who needs some help moving or you're a stadium like Bank of America who needs help running the game,


Kevin Carney 02:11

or Buffalo Bills state in the New South shoveling the stance exactly.


Chris Dyer 02:17

You can go on our web app, you can post out what you need. So let's say Bank of America Stadium money 200 servers to operate for the Carolina Panthers football game, although being two in probably 23 stories. We need someone to help turn people away. But now you can post out jobs. So then you posted on their app, just like Uber those jobs get posted out to the students, they can see it. If they've been credentialed to work this type of jobs, they can sign up apply for on the app, then they can get work that job get paid all that straight to the app. So again, like Uber but for anything from moving jobs, hospitality, jobs, etc. That's really what undergrads is and how we got to that Thomas can share more about of how we are eventually where we are today.


Thomas Mumford 03:02

So we started about five years ago, I guess. Wow. Time goes by quick 2017. So almost seven years ago. Yeah. Your old? Yes, it's catching up. Not quite 30 yet, though, but it's sneaking up on me. And so we started about seven years ago, in the moving industry. And then in 2020, we went full time, so about four years doing it full time. And then yeah, we expanded to pretty much every market in North and South Carolina, Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Myrtle Beach, as well as Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, South Carolina. And then we expanded out to Texas, and then down into Florida. And then most recently, over into Las Vegas, Nevada. We've done over 30,000 positions that have been filled on the undergrads platform. We've got roughly 10,000 students that operate on the platform now. And by doing that, we've been able to give back to students a couple million dollars over millions of dollars to students over the course of their academic career, which is awesome. Yeah, it's amazing. Yeah, it's something we didn't have while we were there. And so we made it ourselves and now every student kind of enjoy it.


Kevin Carney 04:13

So you guys start this while you're at Clemson right? Why? Well, I will make all the Clemson jokes here we'll leave this aside. But you guys did it on your own like you just you're making someone on your own side right and some side money then you you kept expanding it and putting stuff out on on Craigslist and yeah, yeah. Explain a little bit how you how you got going.


Thomas Mumford 04:33

So we started on Craigslist. While we're in Clemson. As you can imagine, what Craigslist in Clemson, South Carolina looks like alright, yeah, it's a little interesting, but that's where we started it was we'd go to class, post the ad on Craigslist, hopefully have someone call us sometimes made class and we just up and leave but usually by the Yeah, we just kind of get up and leave and just we tried to get as much business as we could. And then that had led to our friends wanting to jump on and do some moves with us. And then one thing led to another, we started expanding. And we never really needed investment in the early days because we were just cashflow positive. But as we started to grow, we went and got investment from some local staffing executives raised about $1.6 million, and then started to grow our platform that ultimately allowed us to scale across the nation.


Kevin Carney 05:26

Did you start off thinking, hey, we're gonna build a business? Or do you start off thinking, hey, you know what, I used some beer money. Speaking of beer money,


Thomas Mumford 05:33

it was, it was definitely beer money. We that first year, we made more money actually selling the furniture that the customers gave us. Really random storage and just extra stuff they didn't need, yeah, tables, couches, you name it, they either bought out a new one and their new home or they didn't have enough room for it, and sell it on Craigslist, again, on Craigslist. And we made more money doing that than we did in the business. We're like, there's no way this thing will take off. And then


Kevin Carney 06:03

it will point you to that tipping point of we can do this full time. And I mean, I'm a full time as much as we could do this as a business, right? Because you guys did for yourself on a couple of your buddies. But but at some point you said this is there's a business model here I


Thomas Mumford 06:17

think, for each of us was different. I vaguely remember we were at our kind of senior going away. Last Hurrah party. And we're both looking each other thinking what are we going to do with this when we when we graduate, I was moving up to New York to work for EY and their corporate venturing unit. Chris moving down to Orlando to work for EPs, Elton breaking up the band, and yeah, breaking up the band, different sides of the United States. And so we kind of had to have a decision on what we wanted to do. And like if we can subsidize rent just a little bit, that would help a lot. And we did a lot more than that. But that was that was our idea. Just let's just keep it going and see what happens. And I think that's that's kind of been the motto of what got us to where we are today is let's just get through it and see how far this could go. How How big could it get rather than how soon could fail? It's kind of what we what we envision


Kevin Carney 07:11

so you guys were all like business majors and you went through an incubator to go figure all this stuff out right?


Thomas Mumford 07:15

I wish it could have could have spared some things up but no, we were all trial and error pure grit Moser undergrad. Industrial Engineering,


Kevin Carney 07:24

right. Yeah. So I being facetious there but like yeah, so you guys didn't have that background necessarily. Right. It's a lot of grit and hard work. Yeah,


Thomas Mumford 07:31

yeah. And I think it's more Chris always has this driving vision of just wanting to go do other business. He pulled together a boat detailing business and in college as well. So it was always this always how do we how do we get people to go do services there's their services to be done students have time how do we pair that up? And ultimately moving was something that worked out for us. Okay.


Kevin Carney 07:56

All right. So I'm going to stick with that moving theme here Okay, real a bit of icebreaker and to get your your take on some things about moving Alright, so I had some facts about moving but they're really dumb. So I moved on to something different Alright, so I want your opinion and your answer and why so if you're going to move Do you purge your stuff? Then pack it move or do you just throw your stuff in a box move it and then purge it pull it out at the other location?


Thomas Mumford 08:24

Like like get rid of it? Yeah, before you move


Kevin Carney 08:27

it you got Paul you're like if they get rid of the wheelchairs in like and you got books you didn't need and all the I don't know collect the crap you've collected over the years so you get purge and then move the move and then purge


Thomas Mumford 08:39

the only good for Chris All right Chris.


Chris Dyer 08:42

Well I think there's two types of people


Kevin Carney 08:43

No no no what you is that not just you what do you do so standard and


Chris Dyer 08:47

people there are the people who purge and then move and then the alternative there's not really a middle ground are you I am far on the side of purging move purge and move I'm a minimalist I think moving is an opportunity to get rid of the stuff you don't need all right


Kevin Carney 09:03

I know but but you're gonna you're gonna move it alright so you're purging of all right yeah and take aside and the wishy washy


Thomas Mumford 09:10

I think if you've been in the business as long as we have you are a purge and move person purge and movement in now. I want to touch it twice. If you can get rid of it and you don't have to move it throwing it away or trying to give it away first, but it's getting thrown in the trash Bill


Kevin Carney 09:23

purge purge and move moving Purge.


Bill Clerici 09:24

Purge Yeah, I agree. It's the perfect opportunity to get rid of all the crap that you're always


Kevin Carney 09:30

gonna get. Okay, so I'm going to jump in there little bit so I'm gonna move and then perch because I would never move otherwise because because because I'm gonna throw stuff in a box and not think about it and just get the move done. And then as I'm unpacking where I have time and leisure, then I'm going to purge,


Chris Dyer 09:43

which still purging you're moving something just to throw it away.


Kevin Carney 09:47

You know what it takes me like? You see my office bill, right? Yeah, I have every every calendar in the past 20 years. I need to move it and then purge. Have


Bill Clerici 09:55

you guys seen Big Bang Theory? Yeah, he Sheldon Oh, yeah. All right. Well, Just


Kevin Carney 10:00

try one more. Let's try that one. Do you prefer a cheap fixer upper, or an expensive turnkey?


Chris Dyer 10:09

In regards to you're gonna get a


Kevin Carney 10:11

new house a new apartment, right? So if you want to go buy a cheap house that that needs a lot of work that you're gonna put some effort into and some money into it, make it your own, or you just want to walk in, pay the money and just, it's all ready to go.


Chris Dyer 10:24

I would want to buy something that I can develop from the beginning. Alright, so neither one I would want to have a custom build. Oh, I wanted to be turnkey. And I want to be the designer.


Kevin Carney 10:31

You're you're you're choosing answer. See? All right. All right. Okay. Option C. Okay.


Thomas Mumford 10:38

I'd probably go fixer upper. If I had to pick one or the other.


Kevin Carney 10:41

Yeah. Okay. Are you handy like that? Yep. Pretty handy. Yeah,


Thomas Mumford 10:44

you'd have a vision of what things would look like. Yeah. Okay. All right. Yeah. And in New York, I had a 12 foot ceiling, but my room was like four by four. Oh, so built a loft. Oh, yeah. And put a TV in there. Maybe two of them? Yeah. Yeah. Almost on top of each other sets. You could kind of you can do stuff with it. Okay.


Kevin Carney 11:01

Well, what was the question? You're drinking beer. Are you? Are you getting a cheap fixer upper? Yeah. But you get an expensive turnkey.


Bill Clerici 11:11

I don't you know, when I was younger, I would say probably get the turnkey as I get older. I like to do things myself. So I have


Kevin Carney 11:19

no vision. I'm just buying it. Let someone else have the vision I walk in. It's great. You walk anyway, this


Thomas Mumford 11:25

is just exactly what exactly what I want.


Chris Dyer 11:27

Didn't have to do anything on the same page. Okay, I want to be able to design it, but don't want to actually have to do it. Well, I want


Kevin Carney 11:32

it to look like I want I mean, I don't want to I don't have it. I don't know what turnkey and I don't like it. But


Thomas Mumford 11:37

I have a question on the back. You gotta go back to the purge. Because this is this is wild. So would you prefer to pack or unpack? Like,


Kevin Carney 11:48

I love both suck. No, I really. I love both. Wow. Yeah. I don't know. There's something cathartic about like, organizing and then post about. Okay, well, this explains it. Kevin. Kevin. Yeah. Kenny. All right. Third question. What is the first thing you plug in to your new place? So you get into new house new apartment wherever you going? What's the first thing you plug in?


Chris Dyer 12:12

Probably charger to my phone charger to your phone? Yeah,


Kevin Carney 12:15

yeah, that was that was that high end that like the Family Feud? Survey list? Like that's 90 points. Yeah, exactly. Thing. Where's your where's your soundboard bill?


Bill Clerici 12:24

Oh, sorry. Yeah,


Kevin Carney 12:26

you're asleep at the switch. What do you plug it in?


Thomas Mumford 12:30

Oh my gosh. Probably phone phone. Yeah. All right. Number Number Two for for eight points. Bill is that's a watch charger. I don't know that. There's only two electronic.


Kevin Carney 12:52

Alright, but what do you plug it in?


Bill Clerici 12:53

Unfortunately, it's the phone. Yeah, that's the first thing.


Kevin Carney 12:57

What are you plugging in? Phone? I'm plugging to Internet.


Bill Clerici 13:02

My was my second choice. Plug in the internet? Well. Yeah. So you can get on the line on the line.


Kevin Carney 13:13

Close second was TV, but that's a different story. More or less, you gotta have their out of hand. Okay. All right. Last one. So you move into your new place. Do you immediately go greet your neighbors? Or do you like unpack? Wait a couple of weeks settle in and then go meet your neighbors.


Chris Dyer 13:29

I am definitely the wait a few weeks. Thomas is going to say immediately. I can already


Thomas Mumford 13:37

really meet the name really? You've got like, two days of It's not awkward to introduce yourself. And once you pass that two days, it's like he doesn't really like us. This is right. Yeah. Intentional. Oh, he's


Kevin Carney 13:48

Yeah, he's he's aloof. He doesn't.


Thomas Mumford 13:50

I'm open your business first few days. Okay, Bill,


Bill Clerici 13:53

I take options. See, I don't want to talk to anybody. So my answer is never ever Never, never. Never. Odds are they've got a dog that's gonna bark and it's gonna tick me off over time. And and I'll, it'll get nasty, but it's better when you know


Kevin Carney 14:05

them that you can say hey, your dogs barking? No, it doesn't help now.


Thomas Mumford 14:09

You can be meaner if you don't know them. Exactly. have done that.


Kevin Carney 14:14

I like me the neighbors like me the neighbors, because you've never had bad neighbors probably. Well, that's for a reason because I go meet them at a time. They could have it that if I didn't talk to them like Chris.


Chris Dyer 14:26

Confused? You confused? Yeah.


Kevin Carney 14:28

I we bought we bought a place a couple years ago. And as we were getting the keys to like right at the edge of the driveway getting keys to go get into our house and woman across street came down to get her mail and, and we just said hello. And she says Kevin, like Leslie, please my client from 15 years ago. She's now across the street from me. So if we didn't do that, like we'd be like passing each other in the cars all the time and every known that like there's there's connections like that,


Chris Dyer 14:56

but that would make her a bad neighbor.


Kevin Carney 14:57

Well, no, I'm saying well, if you do talk to them like then you can't like when they got packaged on the door, an abortion need to go some go get it or


Chris Dyer 15:06

couldn't that be a thing though, where you should be able to see the people who live next to the house that you're going to buy before you buy it?


Kevin Carney 15:12

Yeah, that's that's actually a good point. Like there should be Yelp reviews for industries, right? Yes. Or just individuals? Like, I gotta write my neighbor. Yes, that's


Chris Dyer 15:20

a great business. Well, yeah. Could be, well, some privacy law,


Kevin Carney 15:25

there could be some repercussions as well like pushback and whatnot. But, okay. All right. So let's get back to the actual conversation here. So how do you put the two things together? Right, you're pulling these jobs and you're pulling the people to pull together? So let's let's look at both sides of this marketplace. How hard is it defined events, so like, people don't move extraordinarily often they can't move once and then they're not going to be another client for some time. So you have to go attack and with ads and SEO and, and find those those opportunities. And then you moved into catering and hospitality and whatnot, and help understand how you got into that and why you're going into it. And is that better, and ebbs and flows and people move in the summertime given given the whole that that, that half of the marketplace of getting the events set up?


Chris Dyer 16:14

So to answer your first question, the supply or the demand, which was more difficult to get it, if you had asked us 16 months ago, it would be the demand, we couldn't keep up with this, or I'm sorry, the supply we couldn't keep up with the demand coming off a COVID. Everyone in the hospitality industry is leaving it, they're going to work somewhere else, to working from home, etc. We had people banging on our doors asking us to provide staff with them. Then fast forward to today on the other side of that as things start to return to normal, the supply or the demands more difficult to get. It's just part of the market ebbing and flowing. But as far as how we got into the hospitality industry, it's it's a funny story. We in 2021, and April Thomas and I were driving about eight o'clock at night to go get get dinner pulled up to a McDonald's.


Thomas Mumford 17:08

I heard that was gonna shamelessly come out. Not


Chris Dyer 17:11

shamelessly looking. McDonald's is the best fast food restaurant. But we pull up to a McDonald's drive thru and on the sign or on the post is a sign that says $1,000. If your interview and interview just to show to an interview, like during that time, it's ridiculous people forget about that 2000 22,021 era of COVID where the world just shut down. And so there's a sign that says $1,000 to interview. At the time, we had been buildings moving business using college students as movers. And at the time we had been removed or turning down 40% of the students who applied. So we've got 100 Students apply and 40 were saying hey, you can't work. We don't have enough work for you. And so we see the sign and we're like, oh my gosh, is there like this new industry, the hospitality industry? Could we take the same students who were turning down and utilize them to the same platform to go work for the hospitality companies? And so we said, Okay, well, maybe there's something here. We reached out to a catering company here in Charlotte said, you know, here's our thesis, we've got the students, would they be useful to you? He said, Yes. Long story short. We did that we piloted and we've expanded that under the premise that college students are absolutely fantastic at working hospitality jobs, right. All because we pull up to a McDonald's eight o'clock at night and saw $1,000 interviewing sign. Yeah,


Kevin Carney 18:34

in the strangest places. That's right. Okay. Okay. So you've got some fairly decent events, like we were talking about, like catering holiday parties at a country club or things along those lines. But in maybe weddings or other other things, but you've gotten some pretty big events, right? So marquee events, describe some of those.


Thomas Mumford 18:55

Yeah, the cool thing about what we do is you can recruit so many students, because there's just such an underserved talent pool. You don't have to pull from the same people that every other talent agency is pulling from.


Kevin Carney 19:08

It's like an untapped market, right? Because exactly, because they can they can't work a full time job because they already have a full time job. But they can work part time and probably on the weekends or evenings when when these events are most needed.


Thomas Mumford 19:20

Right? Yeah, exactly. Right. And, and so we can just recruit a ton of students. And so these large events are actually our bread and butter. So the small ones, we can still fulfill pretty easily, but we can fulfill the large events so much more effectively, then these are competitors, just because of the talent pool. So we've got to name a few when when the President's cup was in Charlotte, we were the primary provider of premium staff for that. So we were doing all the the suites and everything lining the greens. And so that was our big entry point into these premium events. That led to us providing staff for the f1 race out in Austin, Texas. And that was awesome. That was a fun event. A long event. We slept about three hours every few days, but we got an RV involved in there. But it was oh, it was a long one. And so f1 was was massive, it was a little bit bigger than Presidents Cup. And that was the same thing. trackside suites we were we were the primary provider of premium staff for that entire event. So you're you've got guests like Elon Musk, and you're in your suites. And so how do you provide a premium staff for these specific suites? And that's kind of what we were able to do really, really well, it high volume, it's 600 plus people over the course of three days. And then that kind of expanded to what we do now. We landed a contract with live. So we'll be out in Las Vegas for the live tournament there. landed the contract with the Super Bowl. So we'll be out at the Super Bowl now. And it's it just snowballs. It's crazy. The size events a week, especially


Kevin Carney 20:50

for those ones who bowl it snowballs,


Thomas Mumford 20:52

it will go Bill's might he might shovel snow for that?


Bill Clerici 20:55

I would.


Thomas Mumford 20:58

So we'll be out at the Super Bowl, which is just that was our goal for 2023 was how do we get in the conversation and we ended up actually landing the contract, and then continue on now we've got a few more in the pipeline that we're looking at landing that are kind of some larger events like the US Open for, for tennis. Okay, is one that we've got our eye on. But yeah, these large events are really, really fun. And they're, they're kind of our bread and butter. So


Kevin Carney 21:23

how do you get all the students for these kind of events that are outside your footprint? Right, because and this is a question, but coming from Clemson, you've got a lot of people at Clemson, right, and you come to Charlotte, you got universities here and whatnot, but you don't have a presence over in in UNLV, or other places like that. So you have to market to those organizations, or how's that? How's it worked out in Houston? Yes,


Thomas Mumford 21:48

so not necessarily organizations, but to directly to the students. So we've got good 1000 students who work on our platform, relatively easy to get their friends in those areas to join because they're having such a good time. Like, it's it's not rocket science for a buddy from Charlotte to recommend his friend that he knows out in Austin, Texas, hey, the f1 race is coming. Do you want to work it? And then that one person that refers their three friends and then so it just again? Balls? Okay, Charles,


Kevin Carney 22:15

that's, that's a lot of that's a lot of people, though, to just get referrals.


Thomas Mumford 22:19

Yeah, there was a referral network is massive. We do a little bit of paid ads. But the referrals are really where we get the people that are going to show up and consistently show up and you don't have to worry about no call no shows. So


Kevin Carney 22:31

you have to do some interviews at a time. You can't just let them just sign up. And yeah, you have to talk to them to make sure they're reliable and their show up. Yeah, it's


Thomas Mumford 22:39

extensive. The vetting process is pretty extensive. But we've automated a lot of the interview process and it's that's probably the piece that we're most proud of. Again, it's a lot but it's almost fully automated and it helps a ton.


Kevin Carney 22:55

So if you're getting that many people I mean, I have to assume a lot of people are gonna be new right first time undergrads. Is that is that an undergrad ers under? Under call your students under undergo undergrads? Yeah. Okay. All right. The capital year, right, like, like, yeah, exactly. TM. Yep. Okay. But so those would be first time, right? And then do you go through some sort of like after, like, like, I don't know, that Yelp review. But But feedback so that, like, I get this guy to show up, you're like, okay, they're blackballed. We're not coming back again. Or if this guy did a really excellent job, and he's getting five stars. He's coming in top of the list next time. Do you do some sort of rating system? Or?


Thomas Mumford 23:30

Yeah, yeah. So the, the rating pieces is really important for us. So it's on both sides, so the client can actually rate the students. And then the undergrads actually get to rate the event. Oh, so if 600 People then review the f1 race, we actually get a ton of really good feedback to present to the clients, hey, this, these are some areas for improvement for next year. And then if these get fixed, then it should be a pretty seamless event for you guys. And same thing, vice versa. The client rates the students, all the managers are the students. And it's not just one to five stars. It's on soft skills like communication, teamwork, leadership that the students can then use to help prepare for jobs. The future. Oh, okay, great.


Chris Dyer 24:10

I do want to tie to this though. You ask how we recruit? Yeah, you posted an ad that says you can work the Super Bowl.


Kevin Carney 24:18

It's not that hard. Who wants to get front row seats hang out in the box of the f1 race, right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, you can call me if I'm gonna I'm gonna apply you have to that to show like my my college ID. No,


Thomas Mumford 24:29

that's Yeah, it's pretty much anybody that wants to join. Yeah, okay. But


Chris Dyer 24:33

for those large events, it really does come down to that it's it's much more difficult to get someone to go work some random wedding. Yeah, sure. f1 race or the Super Bowl, like everyone in his role is going to apply to


Kevin Carney 24:46

Yeah, it's true. I can make some money and rub shoulders, Elon Musk or something like that. What is your marketing strategy? It sounds like that, you guys. For the events, I mean, sounds like you You connect it with a catering company, you connected with some sort of event promoter, or event organizer. What's their marketing strategy SCE Craigslist earlier to get SEO, they have ads


Chris Dyer 25:12

that work for the events. It's all reputation based. And so we landed, the first catering client here in Charlotte got us our second client through word of mouth, and so on and so forth. And then that allowed us to do the first larger event we did, then that same client who did the President's cup with did the f1 race in Austin, that got us the f1. Race in Austin, the client we worked with for the f1 race was the one doing the Super Bowl in Vegas, which allowed us to get that one, it's all it's a very tight knit group, because of the exclusivity of the events that they only work with select partners. And so if you can get in with the right people, that's what allows you to do more of those. On the event side, you guys have to


Kevin Carney 25:55

be pretty unique, right? I mean, there's probably a few competitors, but they probably pull from a different talent pool, right? Like, by pulling from undergrad, you get a lot people that are up and comers, ready to work hard to get some experience under their belt and kind of prove themselves. That's gonna go a long way towards providing high customer satisfaction for your event providers, event organizers.


Chris Dyer 26:18

That's exactly right. Our we call it bread and butter is premium sweets, okay, and so you can provide staff back of house who isn't in front of the customer, or is working concessions or is taking tickets, but really where we we sit is the people working in the suite. So the servers serving the food to the Elon Musk, or the people who are paying the hundreds of 1000s of dollars to have a suite at the f1 track. Because we provide the clean cut reliable types of individuals that you want to put in a suite. That's really where we've made a name for ourselves is doing stuff like that.


Kevin Carney 26:50

Yeah, that's where your brand is very important. Yeah. Do you have many child partners like realtors? Or I think you mentioned storage companies in the past.


Thomas Mumford 26:59

So in the in the early days, we used to, not anymore. Yeah, it's it's funny, we started on Craigslist, so the advertising was free. And then they really the best thing that ever happened to us was Craigslist, charging $5 to post an ad, because by that time they started charging, or other competitors were like, I'm not gonna pay that. But for us, it was like, okay, that's the cost of doing business, we can kind of afford this now. And it just wiped off probably half or three quarters of all of our competition from the from that space. And then so we just kept blowing it up. And that was kind of our our easy entry to digital ads. And then so we stopped really going and driving around delivering these like business cards to the storage units and realtors and everything real that in said digital ads are the way to go one because you can track it, too, because we know exactly how much you're spending and what the actual return is. So now we're fully digital ads across the board. That's how we get all of our business from the moving side.


Kevin Carney 27:59

Okay. You and Bill can have a conversation later about tracking metrics around marketing data and things like that. Right. That sounds like a blast, doesn't it? Yeah.


Thomas Mumford 28:08

Yeah. The it's funny that the digital ad space comes so so far, I saw a video of who was Jeff Bezos in the early days talking about Amazon and how they have to it would be crazy to build a URL for every single book and then here you are, it's like pretty easy to do that. Yeah, sure. It's funny.


Kevin Carney 28:26

So you guys are generally in the southeast, right like North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida. lipolytic. Kentucky, maybe? Yep. Sounds like you're gonna be moving more towards Nevada as well. How hard is it to stamp out another region? Right? Is it is it you get the students first at the events? First, you need people boots on the ground to manage the events like like, how hard is it to expand nationwide. And and as a corollary of that, does that require capital, it's,


Thomas Mumford 28:55

it's relatively easy to stand up. The tricky piece is to do it successfully. So you can start a location overnight, finding the students easy. With digital ads, you just ramp up your spending but to keep quality over three months, and then start to get repeat customers where they're referring you is that's the tricky piece, it just takes a lot of time and attention. And us and even our competitors to it's kind of where we learn this from it take it is very difficult to do it. Well. It's easy to do it but anyone can put they've got 100 markets on their website but 95% of those markets are probably not doing so great. And five of those markets probably bring in all the revenue. So from from the very beginning we tried to make sure that each market was getting implemented properly. It really doesn't take much though it's you find one student there they get three friends and then all sudden it again snowballs it just someone comes in with $400 from a from a job because I got a big tip and they got


Kevin Carney 29:58

give me tips as well. Yeah, as well.


Thomas Mumford 30:00

So yeah, and all the roommates are like, Yeah, I'm gonna go do that job instead of work, this restaurant makes seven bucks an hour. It's it's not very difficult to watch market, right,


Kevin Carney 30:11

okay. And


Chris Dyer 30:12

that's why we went to digital route while we moved away from doing local advertising was for that reason. So like for us to launch a new market like on the moving side, we've got a template for a web page, post a webpage, put SEO, put advertising put build a review system that can all be done behind the scenes, even before you launch. So then when you're ready to launch, all you have to do is recruit students to work the jobs you've already got. So it's easy to get started if you do it digitally, versus if we had to have a sales rep out there who had been go meet realtors in that local area and post out flyers, etc. That makes it more difficult. But doing it all digitally makes it easy to get the demand and the supply, as long as their estimate is easy to get as well.


Kevin Carney 30:53

Gotcha. So it sounds like you must have a good technology platform in the background where you can't you can't do all this paper based, right. You've got to you got to have people apply electrical electronically. You've got to have people manage all the events in the schedule. So you've got you've got a platform to do all that right. Yeah, yeah.


Thomas Mumford 31:11

Yeah. One of the one of the greatest discoveries we've ever made was Zapier. Right? It is cool stuff. Yeah. No one's ever heard of it's an automation platform. Zapier is an automation platform plugs Zapier. Click the link here. Yeah, it's it is it is awesome.


Kevin Carney 31:25

Use Discount Code, undergrads.


Thomas Mumford 31:29

Perfect. It is it is great. So we've, we almost had one of the highest tiers that you can get on Zapier from just the sheer automations that we're running through it, because that's it, it literally does so much for our business. And then on the back end, once we created a platform that we knew worked, we use pretty much every API to build our initial MVP. So it was Google calendars, Stripe, you name it, we were probably using it. And then once Zapier kind of got us to where we needed to be we've had a proven MVP, then we took that to a dev shop and then they built our in house proprietary product. Got it. Um, but again, Zapier, like we don't know how to code. We're not developers. But on Zapier, I'll run laps around somebody on Zapier.


Kevin Carney 32:15

It's amazing how it was low code. And yeah, code has really helped out the marketplace for entrepreneurs. It's


Chris Dyer 32:21

crazy. It helps you find product market fit to that's true, it helps you work through all the things that versus pay unless you have an in house developer, Simone, your co founding team who can do the work, allows you to experiment, find out what works, what doesn't without having to waste capital, either you have to raise or make through profits. Right. Right. Right. And so that's been an incredible asset to us.


Kevin Carney 32:42

Yeah, being able to pivot without the concern about oh, pivoting is going to cost me a lot of money is probably very refreshing because pivoting has fewer switching costs, I guess, when you're with a low code, no code platform. Yeah.


Thomas Mumford 32:57

And you can reuse your code. So for moving, we used our MD depends on what your pivot I guess. Right? Right. Yeah, right. For moving, when we launched the hospitality side, we use a different kind of checkout system and a different like time and attendance system, okay. But we were able to implement our new system for hospitality side, like our MVP, by utilizing our very first moving system, even though we're using the new proprietary, like, okay, fully encoded developers, it was like, let's just reuse this old dinosaur, right? Bring it back to life. It was kind of scary. relaunching it thinking it does this thing still work, but


Kevin Carney 33:34

But it's always on the bleeding edge of sounds like I mean, I remember doing this as a capital markets firm, where they're always building out new products. But to build industrial strength on the new product didn't know you're gonna build yet. And so you just try it out on the edge and you hack it together, just make sure it work and see if it's, if it's a product you want to continue selling, and why not? Because what if you did catering and you realize it was a dud? Right? You were only good for 2020 that had dried up? Why would you spend all that time and effort to go do that? Yep. So you can you can do proof of concepts on that and then harden it later on. Yeah,


Thomas Mumford 34:03

that's, that's by far the best way to go for early founders. And then you can go to a dev shop or somewhere else in the you know exactly what to build. You're not going to overcomplicate things. Gotcha. It also


Chris Dyer 34:14

allowed us to understand what we needed to build. So we had been in the moving space for years, we go into hospitality space, and neither one of us had ever been to a wedding. So we really nothing


Thomas Mumford 34:28

like 2025


Chris Dyer 34:30

all of our friends hadn't started getting married. We're


Kevin Carney 34:33

inviting you even to like relatives weddings, you weren't invited yet because you're too


Thomas Mumford 34:35

young. A long time ago. We're not like really greenware like where's the staff were what do they need to do? And


Chris Dyer 34:43

so the first time we went on to work a wedding is like for the pilot event with our client for the catering company. We go out there and they say, Hey, wear black shoes, we wear a dress shoes, turns out we're on our feet for 12 hours and wearing dress shoes is like the exact opposite thing you want to do. And so I say all that to say that If you have no idea what you're going to build, we had no idea we were going to build. And so if we had invested in the time and energy and resources to build out a technology product, we would have built the entirely wrong entire wrong thing. Yeah. And so leaving the low code, new code allows us to test and figure out what's available before we actually went out and build it. Right,


Kevin Carney 35:17

you probably had a quicker time to market as well. So you could you could build something that's just because it's going to work for this wedding. We're just gonna get out there. We're gonna do it. And then, as opposed to sorry, we came to the wedding yet because our platform isn't ready.


Chris Dyer 35:29

Right? We can't take more than one uniform. If you need someone to wear a black shirt and a white shirt. We don't have the ability to do that on their platform. Oh, that's tricky. Yeah. So that's probably the biggest benefit for us is benefit for us as it allows us to just move faster. Okay.


Kevin Carney 35:43

Okay. So we're gonna all together here, like, if we, if we wrap this up, me, you've got strong demand, you've got great supply, you've got a platform that can help you scale, you can move into new geographies. You just do some fundraising. I think we skipped a few of the words that you guys got. Right? Like, like, fast. 50 times. And


Thomas Mumford 36:06

yeah, 20. In 2022, we were the seventh fastest growing company, and she's in Charlotte. So we're number seven on the fast 50 in 2020 to 2023. We're number 13. So we stayed in that in that top 15 space. We were for fundraising and Charlotte, how we raised our funds. We want dealmaker the year, in the Charlotte market,


Kevin Carney 36:28

what does that what does that mean? I know you wrote that down, but I didn't know what that meant. So


Thomas Mumford 36:31

it's, it's it's an award that they give away for fundraising events in the in the Charlotte market. So you can whether it's through angel investors, that sort of thing. Okay. We raise 1.6 through Angel strategically, and then we raised a little bit more through debt equity. On the other side of that, but when you put it all together, we ended up getting awarded.


Kevin Carney 37:00

Wow. dealmaker the year, yeah. Okay, like mover and shaker kind of all right.


Thomas Mumford 37:04

Yeah, it was it was cool, because they honored the Hall of Famers along with us. So we're up there with kinda like Dave Jones from Peak 10. And then it's kind of like, oh, we'd love to, it's cool to be on stage with some of these people. Yeah.


Kevin Carney 37:18

Okay. Nice. So so if you've got all this momentum, like, what's, what is the next year, five years? What does that was that look like for you guys?


Chris Dyer 37:28

The next year is continued growth


Kevin Carney 37:29

grad school that like, move


Bill Clerici 37:31

to grads. Yeah, go to go to business school. Well, I'm going from


Chris Dyer 37:35

undergrad to grads. Yeah. But it's funny you say that though, because on the immediate years, continued growth. So we've got product market fit, we've got a product that can scale, we are scaling, that's what we're doing is we're just expanding geographically acquiring larger clients. And the five year plan, one of the things we haven't touched on is what happens on the back end of the system. So we do all these high volume, call my entry level jobs where a student goes and works as a server or a mover. But like Thomas said, they get rated so the client rates them on teamwork, communication, leadership, all those soft skills that you when you're looking to hire someone out of college, and the skills you're looking for. So what undergrads does is it creates a more diverse resume for a student. So not only do you have your academic information, but you also have Hey, John has worked 25 jobs in undergrad. So you've gotten a five star rating on all these skills, that carries weight. So we create a dashboard or a profile where the student and then you can present that to potential employers in the future. We plan to utilize that data to then expand it to internships, full time jobs and help students begin their career when they graduate college.


Kevin Carney 38:45

Interesting. Okay. Got like a transcript for undergrads. Right.


Chris Dyer 38:49

So undergrad score. Undergrad score.


Kevin Carney 38:51

Yeah. Trademark TM. Okay. Yeah. You said if you worked 25 jobs. Is that common? Someone worked 25 jobs. Yes. That many? Yeah. It's


Chris Dyer 39:03

probably the average is around 10 to 15. If you had to put 50 percents I guess it wouldn't be kind be a little bit under but 25 isn't? isn't uncommon. Okay. What's,


Kevin Carney 39:16

what's the max? Yeah, they gotta know. The outliers, right? Yeah.


Chris Dyer 39:20

It's funny. We had to go look that up. Over 500 Over 500.


Kevin Carney 39:24

us now is that you guys, right? That's okay. No,


Chris Dyer 39:27

I'm one student has worked over. Only one has worked over 500 jobs that students made over $50,000 Are you kidding


Kevin Carney 39:34

me? Yes. Your spare time. spare time. Yeah. You know, but yeah, no one's Well, I guess the f1 race is probably during during the week.


Thomas Mumford 39:46

Weekend over the weekend or the weekend.


Chris Dyer 39:47

But the student joined us as a freshman guys worked all four years. Quizzes boards, 125 jobs a year, which means on average these words right around one every three days.


Kevin Carney 39:59

Thought of beer money as it is.


Thomas Mumford 40:03

I mean, he's crushing. Yeah. A lot of jobs


Kevin Carney 40:06

good for him. He's working hard and making making lots of money. It's your little brother, isn't it?


Chris Dyer 40:11

Making $55,000 around your schedule as a college student is why we do the business. Right? Right. There's very few opportunities out there where as a college student, you can work flexibly, and then still, you can make your tuition you can pay for college just by doing this.


Kevin Carney 40:27

Yeah. 30 by their hustle and two, I've been there. That's not It's not easy work. It's not mentally taxing. But it's it's work.


Thomas Mumford 40:33

You're gonna be ripped. You're gonna be rip. Yeah, but his work. And it's that doesn't include tips. So I mean, he could make 20 Art Tips outside of 15 to 20% more than in cash tips.


Kevin Carney 40:47

Okay. Oh, good stuff. Yeah. Well, congratulations, guys. And this has been an awesome road for you. And you have a lot of good years to come. So congratulations, and look forward to watching you guys success and in the Charlotte market. And nationwide. Yeah.


Chris Dyer 41:02

Thank you. Appreciate you very much.


Kevin Carney 41:03

Thanks for joining us. Well, congratulations and making it to the end of another beyond the build podcast. We really want to thank Tom Mumford and Chris Dyer of undergrads for joining us. I tell you, their their story is really impressive to me that that they did not go through an incubator and really they've, their success is just attributed to hard work, grit, and being scrappy. So we look forward, we congratulate them on their current success and we look forward to watching them grow and in the Charlotte market in the next couple of years. Thanks to Bill who receive as our sound and video engineer. Thank you to Rashmi live and Bula for our marketing support, the podcast on LinkedIn and other channels. And thanks to you thanks for joining us for another episode of Kingston's beyond the build podcast where we showcase interesting innovators from the Charlotte area. Until the next podcast go build something awesome

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