The Middlebury Campus

Alums Launch New Errand App ‘Popgig’

By Eric Masinter

Popgig, created by alumna Coumba Winfield ’17, offers a way for students to make extra money and get errands done.

Last year, Winfield teamed with fellow Middlebury alumnus Alex Myerson ’12 to create a new app.  Myerson was looking to earn money while auditing music classes and Winfield, who lived off campus, was looking to save time during her long walks to the dining hall. The pair wanted to create an app that would help them solve their problems by connecting students across campus.  

Popgig, the result of their work, enables students to help one another with their errands at a set fee. Students can make money by completing tasks for people who don’t have the time or the desire to do the task themselves. With users listing jobs as they are needed, students can check the app for ways to make quick cash whenever they have free time.

Winfield entered Popgig in the MiddChallenge competition, seeking funding for the project so that she and Myerson could continue to work on it over the summer. MiddChallenge accepts a small number of applicants who are then asked to continue on to the final nomination process.

As a finalist, Winfield had to give a presentation to a panel of judges.

“I’m always apprehensive speaking in front of crowds,” Winfield said, “so I thought I’d flop when I was pitching.”

Winfield passed this final nomination process, however, and was named a MiddChallenge finalist.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I was named a finalist,” she said, “It gave me a boost of confidence in the idea as well as my ability to present it to people. Going into the summer, I was beyond excited.”

Winfield had to continue to report to the Middlebury Innovation Hub over the summer, giving updates on the progress of her app. Winfield and Myerson spent the summer designing marketing material and met with members of Burlington’s Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies to develop their idea into a fully functional app.

Though Popgig is still in beta testing, it is currently available at Middlebury, University of Vermont and Champlain College. Once beta-testing is complete, Winfield and Myerson plan to expand the service across the country, offering job positions as representatives to students at different schools so that more communities can use the app.

Winfield’s ultimate goal is to connect students with each other in a new way.

“Too many times I hear about how much of a bubble Middlebury can be, and how people aren’t connected between certain social groups,” Winfield said. She hopes to change that by helping students see that they have a network of students to call upon whenever they need help. Whether a student needs a last minute tutoring session, or can’t make it to the dining hall for food, Popgig offers a way for students to send for help and meet new people at the same time.

To find out more about the app, go to www.popgig.com.

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Alums Launch New Errand App ‘Popgig’