Life is good -- but busy -- for entrepreneur Shahed Khan.
Since the creation of his business idea in June, he’s been traveling, attending conferences, and scheduling meetings with venture capitalists. He’s already experiencing the demanding life of an entrepreneur.
It’s a bit different, though. He’s 16.
“I’m texting my coworker during class, and getting yelled at by my teachers,” he said.
Khan’s errand-running business, Viatask, caters to those too busy – or too lazy – to complete tasks essential to running their lives. He got the idea from the Bravo television show “Million Dollar Listings” where high-end real estate agents sell multi-million dollar homes in the Beverly Hills area. In one episode, a client hired someone to buy a home in the U.S. It sparked an idea, and Viatask was born.
Here it pairs people willing to run the errands with those who need it, on the Viatask website. While there are other companies that offer personal assistant services, on this scale it could be matching college students with senior citizens who need someone to drive them to appointments; it’s been described as a Craigslist for errand-running.
So far, it’s in a pre-launch phase; Viatask amassed 4,500 users interested in using the site, with 220 “hand-picked” to beta test the product. It receives requests from 80-120 users each week, and the owners are still encouraging interested parties to sign up.
Don’t let Khan’s age fool you. He’s a sharp guy, and catching up with him is not easy. When we called he was headed to meeting after meeting during the Disrupt TechCrunch 2011 conference.
“Here, people don’t look at my age as a factor. They call me the Viatask guy,” he said, and went on to mention several names of venture capitalists. “I’ve got to go, and head to a meeting now.”
Viatask launches in Chicago in October, with plans to expand to other cities.