Temple’s newest food truck on campus doesn’t sell any food, but students can come to the truck with all of their cell phone issues to get quality and affordable assistance from Fox School of Business graduate Jesse DiLaura.
DiLaura began fixing phones out of his dorm room. He began to build his clientele by word of mouth and Facebook reviews from satisfied customers. This eventually prompted DiLaura with the idea to start a cellphone repair business on campus.
He says his experience at Fox is what helped make everything possible.
“My experience at Fox School not only set the basis, but was like the entirety of my ability to be able to do this…If I didn’t switch to entrepreneurship I don’t think I would’ve had the passion to go over some of the struggles and the biggest hurdles,” said DiLaura.
DiLaura always gives a lot of credit to his mentors who helped advise him on the proper strategies that made him successful.
He was able to raise $5,000 dollars from his network at Temple and Kiva Zip– a micro-loan network– in order to pay for the mobile truck he runs his business out of.
So why a truck? Well that’s how he’s able to keep his prices low so that students can afford to get their phones fixed.
“I kept the price low by getting a food cart because this is a lot more affordable of an option than paying a rent every month,” said DiLaura.
DiLaura says it’s a priority for him to keep prices low in order to better serve students who live on a college budget.
“I was actually on the way to get my phone fixed today down in Center City and I happen to stumble upon this cart and they seem to have pretty reasonable prices so I think I’m gonna go with that,” said Sergio Agulair, a student at Temple.
The cart is located outside of Annenberg Hall which is a convenient location for students and passers-by that helps to keep the business thriving.
Repair U has almost 10 technicians now. Jesse supervises those technicians, teaching them how to fix client’s phones efficiently. Te’Ron Thorpe is one of those technicians. He first met DiLaura when he fixed his phone.
“To be a part of something that you saw start off small, because we were working out of houses..going to your house and now we have a truck that we can be at in a nice location and have all type of different customers and students come in,” said Thorpe.
Repair U is the only phone repair truck at Temple, and in Philadelphia.
To other students who might want to begin their own innovative business venture, DiLaura has this piece of advice: “Its gonna be hard but if you’re doing something your passionate about it will always be worth it.”