DANIEL SMITH/THE HOYA Reid Blynn (MSB ’16) began a company to repair broken iPhone screens last year for a business school course and continued its expansion after the class.
Reid Blynn (MSB ’16) began a company to repair broken iPhone screens last year for a business school course and continued its expansion after the class.

Hoya Screen Repair, a company founded in spring 2014 and operated by students in the McDonough School of Business, fixes cracked iPhone, iPad and Macbook screens for affordable prices.

The business started as a class project for Strategy/Philosophy 255: The Moral Foundations of Market Society, taught by Jason Brennan, assistant professor of strategy, economics, ethics and public policy at the MSB. Titled the “Ethics Project,” the assignment only had one direction: “Do something good.”

Reid Blynn (MSB ’16) and a team of five other classmates, who did not further involve themselves with the company after the end of the class, decided to form an iPhone screen repair company. Blynn had previously learned to repair iPhone screens by watching instructional videos on YouTube when he cracked the screen on his own phone. He saw this project as an opportunity to turn this hobby into a business.

“When Professor Brennan said ‘do something good,’ I immediately thought I can repair iPhone screens and charge x amount of dollars, maybe $20 more than what the cost is to fix the phone,” Blynn said.

When the course was over and the project was completed, Blynn was the only one of his team that continued to work independently to develop the business further. He named the company Hoya Screen Repair and has repaired over 165 phones to date, ordering supplies from a vendor in China, where 95 percent of iPhone screens are manufactured.

Designed to give students an opportunity to create a company, each group received $1,000 as part of the class to get started, a luxury Blynn said contributed to his company’s success.

“That project really pushed everything and made it so we were never in the red.  There was really no risk in starting this company, which is an opportunity that isn’t available in the real world,” Blynn said.

Brennan recognized Blynn’s passion for his business and commended him for his continued effort in developing his business, expecting the business to remain successful in the future.

“What I originally hoped would happen would be that we would fund businesses and students would use the money to run a business over time that would expand and they would take them up throughout their college careers,” Brennan said. “I’ve really only had two businesses that have lasted more than a semester and I’m super impressed that this is still going more than a year later.”

In the months following the completion of the project, Blynn hired other employees to add to his team, including Chief Marketing Director Zachary Rego (MSB ’16). Rego’s role is to spread the word of the company around campus by posting flyers, passing out business cards and promoting through social networking.

“I jumped on board so that I could help spread the word of this affordable and convenient service to Georgetown students,” Rego said. “It’s a way for Georgetown students such as Reid, [Head of Research and Development Raymond Tierney (MSB ’16)], [Chief Financial Officer Owen Siriani] and myself to give back to Georgetown students by giving them a cheaper option than what they would normally pay anywhere else.”

Rego added that his goal for the company is to have every broken iPhone on campus repaired by Hoya Screen Repair.

Hoya Screen Repair has replaced several screens on the iPhone of Jessica Palencia (COL ’16), who was referred to the company by a friend. Screen repairs cost between $60 to $80 depending on the type of phone.

“Reid fixed the phone right in front of me and explained certain things about the phone and what happened to it, and explained what he was doing,” Palencia said. “My phone was fixed right there in 20, maybe 25 minutes.”

Having recently expanded repairs to MacBooks and iPads, business plans for the future include expansion to other college campuses and becoming certified as a limited liability company.

“This service is something we want to leave for Georgetown when we graduate.  We see potential and we see the incredible demand,” Blynn said.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *