"Wayne State Grad Starts Michigan-Based Company"

The South End

Mar 29, 2018

By: Slone Terranella

Jose Romo-Puerta, a third-year student at Wayne State, did not expect a meeting with his friend, Sergio Rodrigues, to lead him to become the chief marketing officer of their own company.

But it did.

At 27 years-old, Romo-Puerta – a business administration major – is the Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of ToDoolie.

ToDoolie is an employment agency that aims to connect students with employers who need everyday tasks done around their house or community.

For example, if somebody needs their house cleaned or leaves raked, they can post an ad on ToDoolie and students can pick up the task. Students set their own desired hourly wage, making ToDoolie commission free. Student users can also design their own profiles to appeal to potential employers.

Romo-Puerta said he remembers the frustration and difficulty of looking for a job when he was younger, due to his lack of experience. He said ToDoolie helps solve this issue by directly connecting students with employers rather than acting as a middleman for employment.

 Employers can post a variety of jobs on ToDoolie, and can self-curate their desired labor, providing plenty of opportunities for students and allowing them the chance to build their resumes, said Romo-Puerta.

Currently, ToDoolie is in the prototype stage, which means giving the company a test run in Detroit and Grosse Pointe. Romo-Puerta said the co-founders of ToDoolie plan to expand their areas of service, but want to ensure their company will fit the market before fully launching.

Before ToDoolie was established, Romo-Puerta said he faced his own personal difficulties.

“I had no ambition or passion for anything. I was floating through school feeling empty with what I was doing with my life,” said Romo-Puerta.  

Romo-Puerta said Rodriguez told him about ToDoolie over lunch last May.

Rodriguez had won $2,000 from OptimizeWayne – a competition organized by WSU that helps students start up their business ideas – and was ready to get ToDoolie running.

When Rodriguez asked Romo-Puerta to be on the team, Romo-Puerta admits he was hesitant. He said he felt like he had nothing to offer because of his inexperience.

After telling Rodriguez he wouldn’t be the right fit for the position, Rodriguez insisted that he was and that he should join. Romo-Puerta said he felt inspired by Rodriguez's words and accepted the position of CMO and co-founder.   

Romo-Puerta said he is grateful to get the opportunity to become his own boss, as it is something he'd always wanted to achieve.

“I want to create. I want to have the freedom to do what I want,” said Romo-Puerta, as he sat in his TechTown office.“Being my own boss gives me the ability to work with my team and create a culture [of creating].”

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Frances MacKethan