Want to order pizza for a movie tonight? Check your grades? Wish an old friend happy birthday? Chances are you’ll use your smartphone (or laptop, or smartwatch, or Amazon Echo personal assistant) to do so.
This technological integration only increases everyday as new calendar, calculator, or game app is created. So much so, that it’s easy to assert that commercial technology today and its capabilities are an extension of ourselves to achieve our needs and goals at what would normally be an inhuman rate. I can type roughly three times more words than I could handwrite in a minute or I can carry with me a full schedule of classes, meetings, and social events without ever forgetting as reminders appear on my screen 15 and 30 minutes prior to every event.
Our gadgets are important in reaching the standards and pace of modern life today and high schoolers today understand that more than anyone—their earliest memories likely include laptops and cellphones. This is a growing generation that has become accustomed to this faster pace of life offered by technology.
Kyree Keels, high school student and co-founder of Teens Do Tech explained that “Nobody wants to go home with a broken phone. That’s like the worst thing ever, coming to school with a broken phone.” He adds more compelling evidence for the importance of having functional technology, “We actually read an article earlier that said 15% of people, if you see them with a broken phone, they most likely won’t date you.”
Keels and his co-founders, Nasir Holloman and Kadir Douglass, understand the high stakes that a dysfunctional gadget can cause in the lives of those around them. The three are students at Dobbins High School learning computer science through the school’s new vocational program. In growing their passion for the technology industry, they naturally assisted their peers or teachers with any technological issues, whether it be hardware or software. Word of their skill spread and eventually Keels, Holloman, and Douglass became their school’s IT department.
From the ever-increasing demand for their help at Dobbins, the trio realized there was a market demand for low-cost tech repair and a financial opportunity for them. Thus, Teens Do Tech was born. Teens Do Tech will fix any of your gadgets—laptops, computers, smartphones, iPhones.
The repertoire of services Teens Do Tech offers is one that they have and continually refine and add to. Before beginning their business, the three students, alongside their teacher, taught themselves how to replace broken iPhone screens from a YouTube video and practice devices.
By May 2019, Teens Do Tech was yearning for growth and competed in a local pitch competition sponsored by FS Investments and won. Drawing resemblance to the show Shark Tank, Teens Do Tech received $1000 in business funding as well as mentorship through Bridges to Wealth’s Youth Incubator program which offered the student entrepreneurs business literacy classes, mentorship, and a strong network.
Teens Do Tech wants to serve more than just Dobbins High School—they understand that the market demand for affordable tech repair extends much further than their high school walls. So, Keels, Holloman, and Douglass are now working on scaling their business to be serve students and teachers all over Philadelphia with affordable tech repair. To do so, they are recruiting and training new technicians, coding to create an intake system, and are developing a new and improved website and social media presence to reach a larger customer base.
At Bridges to Wealth, we are inspired by Teens Do Tech’s entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and perseverance and we are excited to see all they will accomplish.
Written by Trang Trinh