Homeowners often seek recommendations from neighbors when they need to have work done on their homes. In other cases, contractors might reach out to homeowners when they’re completing projects in the area.
A new app called Pigybak is automating that process so that when neighbors are having work done, homeowners can piggyback on the job to get an estimate or work done at the same time.
Shanna Greathouse, who founded Pigybak in March 2023, was recently accepted into the Bounce Innovation Hub Software Accelerator. “We’ve accomplished a lot in a very short time and within seven months launched our app to get early adopters to begin using it,” she said, noting that Pigybak currently has 106 users including both homeowners and contractors.
Homeowners who join receive notifications when neighbors are getting work done, so they can piggyback on the project. There’s also tiered pricing as an incentive for homeowners, based on how many other neighbors they get to join. Greathouse is growing the community of contractors on the app through a Contractor Ambassador Program. In addition, Pigybak is mission-based, with 5% of subscription revenues being donated to non-profits, including One Step Ahead Ohio, which supports building trades. “This is a unique product. While some lawn companies have internal applications for automating the referral and estimating process, there is nothing like this in the marketplace,” she said. “We are helping small businesses generate new leads, save time and reduce emissions by minimizing travel between job sites.”
After leaving the corporate world, Greathouse has found a collaborative and supporting eco-system for entrepreneurs in northeast Ohio. “Everyone is rooting for you,” she said. She has been meeting monthly with James Hilton, Bounce’s Senior Director of Entrepreneurial Services, for mentoring and guidance. Through the Bounce Software Accelerator, she will take a deeper dive into growing Pigybak, such as by accessing potential customers and investors, and defining her marketing and growth strategy. She’s already benefitted from other local resources for startups, including the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program and JumpStart’s digital boot camp. “Working with an advisor like James feels like he has a real stake in the company. The advice he gives is a much more actionable plan versus a high-level summary of what is needed,” she said.
Shanna previously worked in analytics, tech consulting, merger and acquisition consulting, and product and project management, where she used tech to enable business strategy. “Pigybak is an idea I had as a new homeowner of a fixer upper. Also, my husband worked as a contractor, so I know how hard it is to balance business development and projects,” she said. She advises fellow tech entrepreneurs to know their market fit really well before they start building. This is where an outside perspective can be particularly helpful. “I also highly recommend finding a partner to function as chief technology officer and bringing them in early on. This will help to attract investors. Giving them a stake in the company will also get their buy-in,” she said.
While she was able to launch Pigybak within a relatively short timeframe, Greathouse acknowledges that one of her biggest challenges is when things don’t happen as quickly as she would like. “Brand awareness takes time. The process of working on our marketing messaging and product education and then getting feedback to adjust that messaging is never-ending. The devil is in the details,” she said. For entrepreneurs who may be experiencing burnout, Greathouse advises talking it out with another entrepreneur or an advisor. “Talking to potential customers is also validating and will help to re-energize you,” she said.
To learn more about Pigybak, please visit: https://pigybak.com/
To learn more about our Software Accelerator, pleasevisit: https://bouncehub.org/accelerator/.
About the author:
Jill Wodtley, APR, is a freelance writer and owner of Fine Point Public Relations and Advertising. An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, she develops and implements marketing communications, public relations and advertising initiatives for a variety of clients, ranging from health care and social service agencies to industrial/manufacturing firms.