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Turbo 140: Example Of A Great Thunderbird Business Startup Idea


Turbo 140 Wins Thunderbird Business Plan CompetitionAll Jonathan Hegranes needed was a launching pad for his business idea. The Thunderbird MBA student had spent more than 200 hours developing a concept, writing a business plan and recruiting a team to support him. His opportunity came when the Thunderbird Entrepreneurship Network announced the Thunderbird Global Business Plan Competition, with cash startup awards for the winner’s business.

Hegranes’ idea was Turbo 140, a micro-job marketplace that will match people offering small jobs, or “gigs,” with people willing to do the tasks for negotiated fees. What will set the site apart is that all gigs, such as taking down Christmas lights, painting a fence or moving a fridge, will have to be posted in 140 characters or less.
“If Craigslist and Ebay had a super baby, it would be Turbo140,” Hegranes said. “You can outsource your to-do list in140 characters or less.” The name references the abbreviated nature of a 140-character Twitter post combined with a fast, efficient work request. Once a gig is posted, other users can bid their price to take the gig. Job posters and bidders will be able to sort and categorize gig types by region and job type. In addition, they will be able to allow their gig requests to be posted to their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“This competition was the perfect forum to flesh out our ideas,” Hegranes said. “To go through the business process step-by- step, and to get the idea in front of profes- sionals.” Hegranes has worked with a team of two other individuals since January to build a business model and design a user-friendly, scalable site which is scheduled to launch in May.

“There are a lot of potential users, including businesses and individuals, especially students, who would take advantage of this kind of service,” he said. “We are going to do a big push on the university front beginning this August and hopefully spread beyond the Southwest soon after.”

Hegranes made it through several rounds of competition and business plan projec- tions before being chosen to be in the top five. He, along with the other four teams, had 10 minutes to present their plan before taking 15 minutes of intense questions from the six judges, who were professionals from a variety of backgrounds in Phoenix. “It was good to have some brutal feedback,” Hegranes said. “Brutal, but constructive.”
“Opportunities like this at Thunderbird can help develop ideas, they can help incubate them and fund them,” he said. The culture at Thunderbird is becoming more entrepre- neurial, and a lot of the students are already enterprising and creative. This is a great platform to move the school forward.”

Turbo140 is live and people can sign up to be part of the private beta at


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