Story by: Anna Barker, MSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach
MBA student turned entrepreneur, Blaise Carabello, is taking a customer-focused approach to iPhone repairs.
The twenty-three-year-old moved to Starkville, Mississippi, from Charleston, South Carolina, in 2012.
“My family moved a lot when I was young and I had never lived in a small town like Starkville,” Carabello recalled. “It was a bit of a culture shock, but I met friends quickly at MSU who helped me adjust to the change.”
The MSU MBA student was led to entrepreneurship by the courses she was taking.
“I was learning about business and how to start a company in my classes but I kept wondering when I was going to actually go out and do something”, Carabello said. “I realized that I could start now.”
Carabello noticed a recurring problem for iPhone users that she believed she could solve: the need to have them repaired. Her personal experience with this problem led her to create iRevive with her co-founders, Taylor Middlebrooks and Alec Skidmore.
“I broke my iPhone and had to leave it in a repair shop for two days,” Carabello said. “The prices were so high and the quality of the repair was very poor. I thought to myself, ‘Hey, I bet I can fix this myself and much quicker.’ I started buying old, broken iPhones and I would try to figure out what was wrong with them, repair them, and resell them.”
iRevive focuses on convenience by providing a low-cost, direct-to-consumer service.
“We have met students before class and have returned their restored iPhone to them by the end of that class. We want to minimize the inconvenience of having your iPhone repaired by offering pick-up and return services,” Carabello said. “Our goal is to be convenient and cost-efficient while providing high-quality repairs with great customer service.”
As Carabello’s business increased, her professor in the MSU College of Business recommended that she reach out the the Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach.
“I went to my professor, Dr. Holt, who told me to check out the E-Center,” Carabello said. “The E-Center has given me a place to function and a workspace to store parts and equipment. It’s been an incredible resource.”
Carabello urged other students who are interested in entrepreneurship to not be hesitant.
“Just jump,” Carabello advised. “It’s the start that stops most people because so many people want to wait for the right time. Now is the best time to jump.”