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Popgig, a new app created by Coumba Winfield '17 and Alex Myerson '17, offers students the opportunity to earn money doing a task nearby–food delivery for example–or the chance to get a task done.

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New App Popgig Aims to Bring Convenience, Cash to Students on Campus

January 31, 2018


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – “I wish there was an app I could use to order dinner.” This is what Coumba Winfield ’17 said to Alex Myerson ’12 on a cold winter night in 2015 as they sat in Wilson Café in Middlebury College’s Davis Family Library. That was the beginning of Popgig, a new app launched by Winfield and Myerson on January 17. Popgig offers students the opportunity to earn money doing a task nearby–food delivery or laundry for example–or the chance to get a task done.

“It’s cool that the app is finally real,” said Winfield. “I can’t believe it. We’ve been working on it off and on for three years.” According to Winfield, as of late January, more than 52 people had downloaded Popgig, with at least one person signing up each day. She and Myerson are hoping that the promotions they are offering, including free deliveries from Chipotle in South Burlington, will encourage new users to sign up.

"Right after we thought of the idea that night in Wilson Cafe, we sketched out how it would work,” she added. “It was really fun. Now we’ll see if it’s successful at Middlebury. It was designed with Middlebury in mind. It could work on other campuses, or anywhere theoretically.”

According to Popgig’s website, “Askers” are those with requests who set their own price and “Taskers” are those who complete a job. Askers and Taskers can also negotiate the payment. Students looking for work can find cash wherever they are and whenever they have time to do a task.

Coumba Winfield '17 and Alex Myerson '12 discuss their new app Popgig during an interview with WCAX-TV reporter Taylor Young.

The partners have official titles–Winfield is CEO and founder, and Myerson is president andfounder–but their work overlaps since for now they are the only two employees of their start-up. Winfield concentrates on the marketing and design and Myerson focuses on finances as well as developing and testing the app. Neither of them knew anything about computer coding but now they are learning this skill while they work on the app and take a course on the subject. Both have other jobs as well.

In spring 2017 Winfield won a MiddChallenge grant of $2,200 from the College’s Center for Creativity, Innovation, and Social Entrepreneurship (CCISE). The staff at CCISE introduced Winfield and Myerson to the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET). The nonprofit provided the Popgig cofounders with mentorship, networking opportunities, and their current location in VCET’s open office space in Burlington.

Recently the pair were on campus with a display about the app at the entrance to the library. “It’s a really clever idea,” said Smithi Skunnawat ‘18. It’s one of those apps that makes life more convenient. I’d use it for secretarial-type work.”

For other Middlebury student entrepreneurs thinking about starting their own business, Winfield advises that they dig into all the resources at the College. “Visit CCISE and talk to people on campus,” she said. “I didn’t even know about CCISE before I began working on this app. There are lots of people at Middlebury willing to help you out with your idea.”

Photos by Todd Balfour 

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