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CSU students create successful startup with Laborjack

CSU students create successful startup with Laborjack
Laborjack movers carry playhouse
Colorado State University students and Laborjack members Christian Sprague left, Jake Kurtz, center, Josh Moser, right, and Ryan Jeffers, back, hoist a playhouse into the air as they prepare to load it into a moving truck for one of their clients over summer break.
Laborjack movers carry a glass tabletop

Colorado State University students and Laborjack members Josh Moser, bottom left, Christian Sprague left, Ryan Jeffers, center, and Jake Kurtz, move a glass tabletop for a client.

On a warm August morning last summer, four CSU students shuffled beside a large home in Fort Collins, and – with a little maneuvering – they carefully hoisted a 100-plus-pound playhouse over their heads to clear a fence. The group was making its way to a Penske truck, spending the day helping a family clear their 2,800 square foot home and multi-car garage of heavy furniture, bikes, exercise equipment, a freezer, and even a large glass tabletop.

Created during 3 Day Startup

The undergrads were brought together by Laborjack, a company created by CSU students during an intensive weekend entrepreneurial program, 3 Day Startup, in the College of Business. Beyond helping locals move, the students ultimately plan to develop an app for their venture that can connect willing workers across the country with people looking for affordable labor.

In its first six months, the company had raised over $10,000 with various team members helping provide labor, manage advertising and social media efforts, and coordinate the moves.

“It’s been a very collaborative team effort so far,” said Josh Moser, a junior business student and co-founder of the company.

Laborjack movers break down cabinets

Colorado State University students Josh Moser, left, and Jake Kurtz, break down old cabinets during a move for one their Laborjack clients.

Strong supplement to coursework

For Moser, the experience of launching a company from scratch has been a strong supplement to coursework in the College of Business, as has time spent learning more about entrepreneurship through the Venture Accelerator program.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to be part of a startup,” said Moser. “Without getting out there and doing it yourself you’ll never have the full understanding of how businesses work.”

Blake Craig, another founding member and a graduate of the College of Business, brought the original concept to the startup weekend program hoping to connect with people who had similar business passions.

“It was kind of an idea I had a while back,” said Craig. “It’s actually what I did in college to pay the bills, odd job labor.”

Providing a platform for people in similar situations to better access the market has the opportunity to radically shift the way consumers hire labor, and the group is hoping to capitalize on the rapidly growing gig economy.

Results have been superb

“We’re starting to see everything ramp up from the initial groundwork and legwork that was put in at the beginning,” said Craig, happy that the startup event helped launch Laborjack. “It was a very unique opportunity, and the results for our group and other teams have been superb.”

Laborjack mover exits moving van

Colorado State University student and Laborjack member Jake Kurtz loads furniture into a moving truck at a client’s home.

Starting-up in the College of Business

Colorado State University’s College of Business and Institute for Entrepreneurship are preparing to host the inaugural Fort Collins Startup Weekend – an entrepreneurial event similar to 3 Day Startup, which launched several successful student ventures – beginning tomorrow and running through Sunday, Feb. 26.

Griffin Moores

Griffin Moores