Dormzi app brings gig economy to college campuses
The Dormzi app aims to make life easier for college students by letting them request services like laundry or tutoring to be completed by others on their campus.
College students tend to be busy, that’s no big surprise. But what if they could outsource some of their more mundane tasks, like laundry or tidying up their long-neglected dorm room, for a small price? That’s the idea behind Dormzi, a gig-economy app just for college campuses.
Co-created by New York University sophomore Sabine Rizvi and Colorado College sophomore Milan Kordestani, Dormzi connects students who need some sort of assistance with students who have time to spare and are looking for some extra cash.
The two went to high school together in the Bay Area and have a habit of bouncing ideas off of each other, Rizvi, 19, said — Something that came out of us growing up in Silicon Valley and being a part of that culture” — which helped spur the app’s creation. (Kordestani is the son of Twitter Executive Chairman Omid Kordestani.)
“I heard students talking about how they were overwhelmed with responsibilities and they could really use a helping hand, especially their first year because it’s such a big adjustment,” she said. “So I felt like there was a need on campus for it, and we really wanted to solve a few issues that would come with traditional cleaning or tutoring services.”
What issues? Well, they tend to be pretty expensive for a college budget, Rizvi said. Also, it can be a safety issue to have strangers come onto campus and into dorms. Most people can’t enter a dorm unless they have a student ID or are signed in by someone living there, which can be a hassle.
With Dormzi, students at your own school handle the tasks, bringing food right to your door or meeting you in the common room for a tutoring session.
Here’s how it works: when students sign up, they can choose to be a “dormzi,” meaning they’ll complete the tasks, or a “dormer,” meaning they’re requesting tasks. But you can switch between these options any time.
Say you have an exam coming up, Rizvi said as an example, and you don’t have time to do your laundry, you can request that task done via Dormzi. Then, after you take the exam and have some free time again, you could sign up to tutor someone in that subject you were just tested on.
“You can do both, and we really wanted it to be something that almost fosters this sense of community between students,” she said. “Students helping other students.”
Dormzi officially launches at NYU on Saturday, Aug. 25, and will soon expand to other colleges
Right now, the app offers four services: cleaning, tutoring, laundry and errand running. Students suggest the task, add in any special notes, and other students can pick and choose which ones to complete. In the future, the creators hope to add even more, like food delivery (including treats from the campus dining hall) and dorm move-in crews.
Soon, the co-founders say, Dormzi will be on every college student’s smartphone.
“Our goal is to have it be the app for all student-related needs,” Rizvi said. “Anything that you could possibly need.”