December 17, 2015

Article by Carrie Grace Henderson of The Daily Reveille. Read the original story, published November 29, 2015, here.

LSU alumnus Scott Wilkes, with the help of the LSU Student Incubator, created an app he describes as “Craigslist on the go.”

Wilkes said his iPhone app squik allows users to post odd jobs from dog sitting to picking up groceries, and others can pick up those jobs and make a few extra dollars.

The app launched about three weeks ago and has approximately 60 users.

“It’s similar to an Uber, but we wanted to reach a broader range,” Wilkes said. “We wanted it to be for any kind of task you can think of — something where people can use their imagination and have an open forum.”

The app shows users jobs available in their area. After deciding what job they want to do, users negotiate price though in-app bidding.

Squik takes 15 percent plus 20 cents for every transaction made through the app.

“Within the app, they can interact by messaging. Someone suggests the price and then any amount of users can bid on the job,” Wilkes said. “Users are actually picking the price for doing the work, and there is no tipping because if you are doing the job you are doing the amount of money you decided on.”

Wilkes graduated in May 2015 and got the idea when he used to see several people from his apartment complex at the grocery store or headed to the gym at the same time. This jogged the idea that it would be more convenient and environmentally friendly to carpool or consolidate grocery trips with other people.

“Me and my friends were watching a lot of Shark Tank, maybe years ago, and it kind of inspired us,” Wilkes said. “We thought, ‘Man, we should really focus on issues on a daily basis. What’s bothering us today? Can we do anything to fix it?’”

Their solution-based approach eventually led to squik, which grew with the influence of the Student Incubator, Wilkes said.

He said the Student Incubator was invaluable in getting the business off the ground and helping him market the finished product.

“They put me in contact with the correct people if they did not know the answers,” Wilkes said. “They gave me confidence because they give you an honest opinion, and I thought that was very important. If it is going to flop, I would want to know first hand.”

Wilkes is now focusing on gaining popularity in Baton Rouge before producing an Android app and moving on to other college towns and eventually metropolitan cities.

Wilkes said he took the first job through squik — a McDonald’s run — and is excited about the app’s future.

“He was like, ‘Get me a Big Mac — just fries, no drink,’” Wilkes said. “So I went and picked it up for him. It’s pretty good to check out a few things. We’re still working out some of the kinks, but it is getting there.”

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