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Thu April 25, 2013
Get Rid Of Your Junk With A College Hunk
Twenty-three-year-old Christopher Poore opens the door with a warm and welcoming smile. He turns and walks back into his new office. A lounge area with couches and a wooden table are off to one side in front of a wall painted bright orange and green, the colors of his alma mater.
His business partner Ron Rick ,23, enters the room sporting a buzz cut and green polo shirt with a muscle man logo on it. The two are laid-back entrepreneurs who became friends as undergraduates at the University of Miami.
Although the name took them by surprise, "one of the many pros was definitely the support of the company, support of other franchisees, the training and the branding," Poore said.
The two owners offer metro Miami customers a variety of services, from storage and junk removal to home and office relocation. Although not a requirement, most of the employees are young men.
"College-age kids are usually more available in terms of their schedule," Rick said. "They're more likely to plan everything around school and work."
The Tampa-based company itself has more than 40 franchises around the United States but its roots are in Miami. In fact, as an undergraduate 10 years ago, founder Omar Soliman was enrolled in the same UM entrepreneurship program as Poore and Rick. The program has served as an incubator for all three men, with Soliman acting as a mentor.
Rick says he was averse to the idea of owning a franchise but changed his mind after research showed Miami was rich in one key demographic: middle-class women in their late 20s/early 30s. Moreover, Miami is home to schools like Miami Dade College and Florida International University, both of which have a large number of students who live off-campus and commute. Universities also provide Poore and Rick a deep pool of potential workers year-round not just seasonally.
At the heart of their enterprise is a a passion for innovation.
"I've been a go-against-the-grain type as long as I can remember," Poore said. "Back in grade school I was selling individual candy bars to my classmates and wouldn't give the money back when the teacher found out what I was doing. I could not imagine working a regular job for someone else. If I wasn't doing this, I would probably be doing something with stocks."
Now that the two have launched their own business, they are now completing the circle and serving as consultants themselves for current UM students in the same way Soliman guided them.
"It's kind of like passing the torch," Poore said.