Technology To Keep Your Phone Always On
When Jiaman Xu graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Economics, she had many options in front of her. Many look for a job to work for someone else, but instead she looked to create her own job and work for herself. She figured that entrepreneurship is a way to create what you like, develop it, and offer it to a client segment that will benefit from your product.
During her time as a college student, she dealt with the inconvenience of her phone battery dying and having difficulty accessing the outlets. Having seen so many other students running out of charge in the middle of class or in the middle of assignments, she thought a rental, on-the-go battery would find a customer base. She came up with the idea to have an app that will allow users to find a battery charge on-the-go. The app directs you to the nearest location where you can rent a battery pack from a power unit. Once you get to the power unit, you scan the QR code, get a battery out of the power unit and take it with you. It allows users to charge up without being tied to a wall outlet, an added convenience to solving the charging electronics problem.
Her next step was to look for help and assistance to make her dream a reality. She approached the SBDC for business support and received business consulting, market research, and attended business webinars. She developed a pitch deck and attended the Doing Business with Pitt webinar, among other offerings from the Pitt SBDC.
She was able to start her company, market the product, and attend many networking events to promote adoption. Among her clients is Crazy Mocha Coffee Company locations as well as retail restaurant businesses, the Greentree Sports Complex, and the University of Pittsburgh. Today, the technology is in more than two dozen locations throughout Pittsburgh and with the addition of Pitt, there will be nearly 50 locations. Jiaman is an example of how far you can get when you have the vision and the willingness to move forward: she is a Pitt alumna, operates a woman-owned business, is a 30-Under-30 professional and was featured in the Pittsburgh Business Times and NEXTpittsburgh.