Chico State senior Andrew Gazdecki heads successful mobile-app company
What started as an idea on a broken iPod Touch purchased for a mere $40 quickly turned into a small-business venture for Andrew Gazdecki, a Chico State senior who is making a name for himself as a successful young entrepreneur.
Gazdecki, a senior business-marketing major, is the CEO of a small but increasingly successful tech startup company called Bizness Apps. This do-it-yourself mobile-application service allows businesses and companies to create their very own apps tailored to their own specifications through the Bizness Apps website (www.biznessapps.com). Though it initially created apps that were exclusive to the iPhone, the company is currently making its way into the Android market, riding on its extraordinary success over the past year.
“I always knew that we would expand. The only issue was just development, because it requires two different skill sets—developing for the iPhone and developing for the Android,” said the 22-year-old Gazdecki while sitting at his desk at the Bizness Apps headquarters in a downtown Chico office building.
Gazdecki founded the company last June and launched it in October. Once the company began matching investment with revenue, he decided to move forward into the Android market.
That milestone took place last week.
Bizness Apps prides itself on providing easy and affordable app-creating services. It allows clients to create “app tabs” on the website, upload content for the app, customize the appearance, and then preview and publish it. The company markets itself to businesses ranging from bars and restaurants to hotels and auto dealerships.
Locally, Chico State’s Wildcat Recreation Center is a client. Keith Morse, marketing assistant for the center, said it allows the center to inform users about class schedules, including the names of instructors. “And if a class is canceled, we can send a push notification and users will immediately see it,” he said. It’s pretty cool; it works pretty well.”
Gazdecki came up with the idea for the company after noticing how mobile apps were a constant topic across print and digital media.
“It was just going to be a company that created apps for restaurants,” said Gazdecki, exuding confidence well beyond his years. “We were going to start out with a set template and just give ourselves the ability to create apps really fast at a price that’s super affordable for restaurants, and it kind of continued to evolve as we expanded it.”
The company found true success at February’s DEMO Conference in Palm Desert. Businesses from TiVo to E*TRADE have been launched at the twice-yearly tech conference, which is known as “the Launchpad for Emerging Technology.” This was the setting for the beta launch of Bizness Apps into the Android marketplace, and since the event the company has doubled its revenue, Gazdecki said.
Bizness Apps has been mentioned in numerous tech blogs, including TechCrunch and VentureBeat.
The young CEO admits to stiff competition from companies such as Mobile Roadie and iSites, but he’s confident that Bizness Apps has several advantages over others in the market. “It’s not like we’re trying to innovate or really change much,” he said. “We took a real market need and just provided it with a real solution that’s more affordable and faster than the competition.”
Bizness Apps offers its mobile-app services for $39 per month with no setup fee. Optional extras include an iPhone/Android app package for $59 per month, or a professional setup and design for $399. Gazdecki himself will even pop up in live chats on the site for clients needing assistance during regular office hours.
Gazdecki acknowledged that the company wouldn’t be where it is today without the help and guidance of Chris Friedland, founder and CEO of locally based online retailer Build.com, as well as Robert Strazzarino, CEO of CollegeScheduler.com. Friedland and Strazzarino, both Chico State graduates, contributed seed funding to the effort.
“Landing my two investors was the biggest thing to ever happen to this company,” Gazdecki said. “Once someone like that writes you a check, it’s basically like, ‘I’m expecting you to make a couple million. Anything less than that is a complete failure.’ ”
Gazdecki runs the company alongside fellow students and friends Andrew Chalmers and Zach Cusimano, who serve as vice president of business development and vice president of sales and marketing, respectively. For now, they are committed to staying in Chico and working to meet revenue goals. There is talk of eventually moving the company to San Francisco or Palo Alto.
“We’re growing at roughly twice the speed we thought we were going to grow at,” Gazdecki said. “I think we’ll be bigger than we could ever dream.”