We’re always thrilled when we see new innovations. The same enthusiasm can be found in one of our Startup Communities, StartUP Sault Ste. Marie! One of the latest pieces of innovation that’s come from the city is UrbanFix, a gig economy app for home improvement services. UrbanFix’s journey is an example of how one simple idea can be scaled up to help create impacts across the province.
Navigating unemployment in a major manufacturing city
Meet Steeson Mathew, an international student from India. Steeson graduated with a degree in Business Management from Douglas College, Vancouver and moved to Sault Ste. Marie (the Sault) to study to become a Civil Engineering Technician at Sault College. After moving from Vancouver to Sault Ste. Marie in 2019, he found it difficult to find a job. Sault Ste. Marie is a leading producer of forestry products and renewable energy, and it has a strong history in steel manufacturing. The Sault punches above its weight in manufacturing, but when it comes to service-based industries, Sault Ste. Marie is still behind in introducing more innovation and technology.
UrbanFix filling a gap in Sault Ste. Marie
Noticing this gap, Steeson and his team focused on service-based industries and decided to develop a gig economy app. This app organizes the scattered service sector, creates more jobs and self employment opportunities, and encourages entrepreneurship. He reached out to his local Member of Parliament with the idea. With his support, they were connected with Millworks, a small business incubator and the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. Millworks has provided support with an application for the Start-up Visa Program which will help transition Steeson’s temporary visa to permanent residency.
Steeson also became a member of StartUP Sault and attended several meetups and events, allowing him to make further connections with the startup community.
Pivoting in the pandemic and expanding beyond the Sault
During the development phase of the app, COVID-19 hit and many small businesses in the service-based industry suffered a lot. Because of this, UrbanFix decided to open their platform to every small business. They also developed a cloud based CRM software to help manage businesses virtually. This feature helps small businesses schedule, dispatch, track, and manage their gigs. UrbanFix is offering this cloud based CRM software free of charge for small businesses.
The company did a soft launch at the end of January 2021 and has plans to expand to major cities like Mississauga, Toronto, and Brampton. They also entered into a strategic partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency as a part of their UrbanHelp campaign. For every service booked through the platform, they will donate $1 to UNHRC to support millions of refugees around the world.
UrbanFix Inc. is a gig economy app for home improvement services and personal care. We help customers to hire trusted professionals for all their service needs. Staffed with young, passionate people working tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of people by catering to their service needs at their doorsteps. Our services include painting, snow removal, housekeeping services, Saloon at Home, car wash, handyman repairs and many more services. We are a sure shot destination for all your service needs.
We encourage young entrepreneurs and also help local service providers and self employed people to reach their customers more effectively and efficiently. UrbanFix is a new channel for service providers to earn extra income, and is also a great platform for newly established companies to increase their visibility. In addition to that, UrbanFix’s free cloud based CRM helps service providers to manage businesses, provides great customer care services, and helps them to focus on what they are really good at.
About StartUP Sault Ste. Marie
StartUP Sault is a non-profit, volunteer organization connecting new entrepreneurs with the small business resources available in the community, and provides the support of existing entrepreneurs who are building successful companies. StartUP Sault connects local entrepreneurs and innovators through events, meetups and networking and learning opportunities. We are part of the Startup Canada Network.