By Anna Lardinois
Colin Milligan started Sydetasker as a side hustle.
In May 2018, Milligan, an Economics major at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, needed some cash. Under the name College Cleaners, LLC he started to pick up odd jobs in the area around campus to make ends meet. Soon, he had enough work to hire additional staff. Before long, he was operating a successful business.
In 2019, Milligan took his growing business to the next level.
Later rebranded as Sydetasker, the business was accepted into the Titan Accelerator program and the Summer Incubator program on the UW-Oshkosh campus. Sydetasker has a solid plan but needed a technology specialist to meet its goals. A mentor in the campus CEO Club connected Milligan with Dr. Zaid Altahat, a UW-Parkside assistant professor with a doctorate in Computer Science and the director of the Parkside campus App Factory.
The meeting was a success. Dr. Altahat joined Sydetasker as a co-founder and the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Altahat’s expertise in application development allowed the company to move forward. Today, the Sydetasker App is available for download through both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
And people have been downloading Sydetasker. The app connects people looking for short-term work with people who have one-time or temporary jobs that need to get done. Job postings range from home repairs to cleaning, yard work and more. The workers, known as Taskers, have a wide range of expertise in both skilled and general labor – from licensed electricians and other contractors to college students who are willing to shovel sidewalks and anyone else looking for work. Right now, the site accepts jobs from Wisconsin and the Greater Chicagoland area.
Participation in the gig economy continues to rise, and Sydetasker’s user numbers reflect that trend. Milligan reports an uptick both in those who register as workers and those who are posting jobs. The free app takes a percentage of the task payment as an operating fee, and the platform allows job posters and Taskers to negotiate that final price before the job is accepted.
When asked how Sydetasker differs from competitors like Task Rabbit, Milligan said, “Task Rabbit has only hourly rate jobs. We are open for flat rate and hourly jobs to offer more flexibility. … We offer a bigger service area. Task Rabbit is only in 50 cities in the US, so there’s a lot of room to grow. We went into Madison a little bit ago and we had a customer saying, ‘Oh, that’s awesome. Task Rabbit is not here,’ so we are hitting those cities that they’re not in.”
Milligan thinks those new to Sydetasker will be impressed with its efficiency.
“It’s a new and secure way to get jobs done,” he said. “We’re using technology to give people a secure payment system and a way to get multiple different quotes without having to call anybody. People can pretty much get anything they need done if they post it.”
This seed-stage startup is looking to expand in 2022. The Sydetasker team is exploring opportunities to create growth and is looking at both accelerator programs and Venture Capital investors who would be a good fit for the company.
To take a look at the Sydetasker App, click here. To follow the growth of this Milwaukee-based startup, click here.