Mod Squad

Two years after partnering to create a program designed to empower local business owners, Fisher College of Business and Columbus City Council are celebrating the launch of the program’s first success — Mod Squad, a handyman service for the central Ohio community.

Ohio State’s Paul Reeder, executive director of the center for innovation strategies, Columbus City Councilmember Jaiza Page, and Julie Smith, executive director of Rebuilding Together Central Ohio (RTCO) officially announced the creation of the service.

“We are excited to help grow our partnership with local small businesses and students,” Page said. “Repeated investment in both people and capital is how our city is going to continue to grow smart and provide our residents with needed services.”

Mod Squad was created by C-Biz, the pilot partnership that was created to connect established, small and minority-owned businesses with undergraduate and graduate students who are capable of providing advanced, in-depth consulting and analytical services that may otherwise be unavailable. The program selected two community-based companies for the pilot — the nonprofit RTCO and the for-profit Watt One Electric.

The program is conducted in conjunction with faculty members from The Ohio State University and the Max M. Fisher College of Business. Council provided an initial $20,000 investment.

“As an institution dedicated to building future leaders, Fisher is proud to be associated with such an incredible, forward-focused program,” said Anil K. Makhija, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher College of Business. “Our work with the C-Biz program demonstrates how meaningful connections between our students and small business owners and entrepreneurs can positively impact and uplift our local community.”

Students and faculty from The Ohio State University evaluated the current business assets, including its structures, management, cash flow, strategy and execution. Company leadership and student teams also worked with the city to explore funding options.

“It was a pleasure collaborating with C-Biz program students as we developed the concept for Mod Squad,” Smith said. “The C-Biz program gave us a unique opportunity to hear new ideas from area students that see social enterprise as a vital part of our community. Their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives helped energize project development with support from the city, collaborative partners, area entrepreneurs and volunteers.”

Mod Squad eventually received additional support from The Columbus Foundation, SocialVentures and The Buzz Maker.

“What makes this exciting is that everyone in central Ohio now has a go-to source for handyman services,” Smith said. “It’s a ‘pay-it-forward’ program that will help our local seniors age in place with dignity.”