A New Reason to Say “Oh Shoot!”

College students have hectic schedules, so when something goes wrong, it can feel like the entire world is crashing down. But thanks to student-run startup company Oh Shoot!, Tulane students can rest easy knowing someone is here to help. Back in their freshman year, Oh Shoot! founders Josh Shawver-Weiner and Philip Brossy were on a hunt for a high-margin business that could be scaled.

“We bounced a couple of ideas around and came up with the idea of starting an iPhone repair business,” Shawver-Weiner said. “We started fixing phones in our dorm room with a really dinky website. Pretty quickly, we saw there was a demand and the margins were good, so we decided to go full force after that.”

Building Oh Shoot’s platform was no easy task. Phillip and Josh sought guidance from Tulane faculty members John Clarke, Kevin Pollard and Rob Lalka early on, hoping to get advice on how to structure essential parts of their business. The team also tried to hone in on their own specific skills. Philip started teaching himself modern ways of marketing, such as Google AdWords, Instagram and Facebook, while Josh dove into software developing. As for overall logistics, the duo credits Jim Christian, their mentor in the Freeman School’s Lepage Center, for framing their philosophies on how they approach business in general.

In November, Brossy and Shawver-Weiner won the Lepage Center’s Pizza Pitch competition and invested their winnings in further marketing for the company. Thanks to a Google AdWords algorithm Brossy developed, Oh Shoot! not only gained more exposure but also saw a surge in the number of appointments booked. However, the Oh Shoot! team has faced many challenges along the way, such as having to figure out the logistics of handling scheduling along with properly structuring the business from a legal standpoint.

Oh Shoot! won the Lepage Center’s Pizza Pitch competition in November 2019.

Of the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur, Shawver-Weiner said, “You could be at an all-time high at 11:30 in the morning and then by 2 o’clock you think it’s the worst business ever, and then you’re back up again. That’s sort of how startup culture is.”

Recently, Oh Shoot! has further expanded its platform to eight new schools, while adding both cleaning and tutoring services specifically to Tulane’s campus. When deciding which schools to target next, the company has been testing demographics for median income of students at specific schools.

“We believe there are hundreds of schools minimum that fit the criteria for what we think works the best,” Brossy said. As for the future, Shawver-Weiner and Brossy hope to bring Oh Shoot! to hundreds of schools while simultaneously creating thousands of part-time jobs for college students.

“Really delivering a part-time job is something we’re super interested in,” Shawver-Weiner said. “You know, we’re college students and we work on this [Oh Shoot!] 8-12 hours a day, but we don’t want our contractors working that much. We want you to be out there enjoying college life, the things you want to do, and getting paid a premium for that.”

Tulane students can book an appointment with Oh Shoot! by visiting https://www.ohshoot.io/book-a-service.

— Neera Kennedy (BSM ’23)