NerdiT Now Before Shark Tank
Phones have become an essential part of our daily lives and seeing one break might be devastating for most people. Phone repair shops are often hard to find and can over-charge you for repairs, no matter how small or easy it was to fix your phone. That is why Delaware IT fanatic Markevis Gideon came up with NerdiT Now.
NerdiT Now provides quick repairs to almost any device. Customers can either visit one of the company’s static locations or call in a pick-up service to repair their devices. NerdiT Now technicians then work swiftly to diagnose the device, identify the issue, and come up with a solution. The company has several knowledgeable IT technicians who know their way around electronic devices. NerdiT can provide repairs for mobile devices, tablets, computers, and even gaming consoles. The company gives complete clarity to the customers concerning each device’s repair price.
Gideon majored in both accounting and computer science, giving him the expertise needed to start an IT repair business. He dabbled in various things as a teenager, such as selling, marketing, and repairs. After graduating, Gideon moved to China for a few years; during his time there, he ran his own bar and improved his business knowledge. After returning to the United States, he decided to start a business he was passionate about, NerdiT Now.
To ensure a successful start, Gideon asked two of his alumni colleagues at his university for help. Jonathan Hoxter and Jake Voorhees joined Gideon to start NerdiT Now. They applied for a grant at the University of Delaware and won $9,000 to fund their business. They used the money to buy an ambulance, remodel it, and use it as their mobile repair shop. The company also plans to build kiosks where customers can drop off their devices to be repaired. NerdiT picks up the devices from the kiosks within one day, repairs them, and returns them directly to the customer.
Customers had three methods to send their devices to be repaired. They can drop them at a kiosk after agreeing on a price, they can also call the mobile pick-up ambulance (Motherboard) for local repairs, or customers can visit one of the two company stores to get their devices fixed. These methods made NerdiT Now available to many customers and increased the scope of the business.
After seeing massive success on their Motherboard repair ambulance, Gideon, Jake, and Jonathan decided to go on Shark Tank to find an investor to help them expand and build more kiosks and ambulances for the company.
NerdiT Now on Shark Tank
Gideon, Jake, and Jonathan were on season 11 of Shark Tank to pitch their company, NerdiT Now. They entertainingly demonstrated their services, and each showed their dedication to the company. Gideon, along with his wife and four-month-old baby, moved in with his in-laws; Jake left his engineering career to work on NerdiT, and Jonathan invested $20,000 of his own money to fund the company.
Gideon claimed that NerdiT Now is much cheaper than other kiosks and repair shops in the country. An average iPhone 7 repair would cost $130 in a repair shop, while NerdiT would repair it for only $90. Each device is repaired directly in front of the customer and usually has a quick turnover. Gideon claimed that while they were pitching to the sharks, the kiosk was still a prototype, and the software was still being written.
Gideon told them his backstory and how receiving a laptop when he was 12 changed his life. Jonathan said he was born and raised in Delaware and had a degree in finance. Jake said he was also a student at the University of Delaware and graduated with a civil engineering degree before leaving the industry behind to pursue NerdiT Now.
The young co-founders were seeking $150,000 for 20% of their company. They stated they wanted the money to buy two more “Motherboards” (the repair-ambulance the company uses) to expand their business to Philadelphia and Baltimore. Each Motherboard repair ambulance follows the same route as food trucks, allowing easy access for most customers.
The company projects $250,000 in revenue by the end of the year. NerdiT Now had $157,000 in revenue the previous year. Gideon claimed that each Motherboard averages $30,000 per month.
Mark Cuban liked the idea and the dedication they had for the business, but he believed it wasn’t an investible concept, so he was out.
Lori Greiner believed the company was still at an early stage, and she wasn’t the best partner for the business, so she was out.
Kevin O’Leary agreed with Mark Cuban; he didn’t think the business was investible, so he was out.
Daymond John also didn’t think it was investible, so he was out.
Matt Higgins commended the young entrepreneurs and told them to continue the hustle by investing in another Motherboard, but it was too early for him to invest in the business, so he was out.
Gideon and the others left the tank empty-handed, but they believed in their company and that they would prove the sharks wrong in the future.
NerdiT Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
The episode provided a great marketing opportunity for NerdiT Now as word quickly spread across the nation. However, the company struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic. Sales through the Motherboard plummeted due to pandemic restrictions, and the company barely managed to pull through. NerdiT’s unsuccessful attempts at securing PPP funding didn’t help as they struggled to keep up financially.
Fortunately, NerdiT Now received several grants, including a $25,000 grant from Capital One, a $75,000 grant from Discovery Bank, and a $100,000 grant from Barclays Bank. The funds raised helped the company get back on track and get through the Covid-19 pandemic. However, co-founder Jake Voorhees left NerdiT Now.
NerdiT Now released a few kiosks in several locations across Delaware. The company advertised the newly placed kiosks and used them as a way to repair devices during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, NerdiT Now launched a training program to train young people to repair and work their way around devices in addition to running their very own business. The program was successful as it helped create many jobs and opportunities in Gideon’s hometown.
NerdiT started a few new projects in addition to repairs. The company now offers electronic recycling for individuals and businesses. This step helps prevent negative waste in addition to recycling devices to be used again by lower-income families. NerdiT is the first company to get R2-certified recycling for IT devices and equipment in the state of Delaware.
The company also launched a new program to give back to the community. NerdiT Care is a program launched to help youth and low-income families and individuals to become familiar with IT and provide them with the tools and devices necessary for their work and studies. NerdiT Care has donated almost 7,500 devices as of 2023. The company has also launched several programs to teach youth and families about IT. The foundation assistance programs have already helped train 83 technicians with 150 awards.
NerdiT Now quickly grew, overcoming obstacles as their business took over the device repair market in Delaware. Their team grew over fivefold as NerdiT expanded to new locations and increased daily repairs. The business did so well, in fact, that it did not qualify for a PPP fund because it was making too much money!
Gideon knew NerdiT Now would grow massively, so he took the opportunity to turn the business into a franchise. He took in Roger Chaufournier as CEO to successfully turn the company into a franchise. The movement is still ongoing, and as of 2023, NerdiT Now is still working on becoming a franchise. In 2023, NerdiT Now reported $4.6 million in annual revenue.
NerdiT Now successfully carved its way through the market as it overcame obstacles to become successful. NerdiT Now proved the sharks wrong as it grew to success without the help of a shark. The company is expected to grow even further as it works on its franchise model. NerdiT will continue to help low-income families, students, and young people navigate their way through IT and show success in the modern world. For more updates and information, visit NerdiT Now’s website here.