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Gig economy ‘Shark Tank’ winners are AppJobs and Keeper Tax; Parker Dewey is audience choice

September 12, 2019

Two technology companies, AppJobs and Keeper Tax, tied on Wednesday to win the Shark Tank-styled competition at Staffing Industry Analysts’ Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference in San Diego.

Five finalist firms pitched their business models before a panel of expert judges, who chose what they felt were the best models. All five companies in the competition were nominated for the event and chosen to present on Wednesday from a field of 20 nominations received.

Co-winning firm AppJobs is based in Sweden with global operations and can be likened to a Booking.com for human cloud platform firms. It enables online gig workers to rate the online human cloud platforms they work for as well as share tips. It also aims to help workers find opportunities on online platforms. Judges noted the firm’s business model has worked successfully in other industries, citing Kayak.com in travel as an example.

“If you know someone who needs a job, send them to appjobs.com and we will do the rest,” said Tobias Porserud, president AppJobs Institute at AppJobs. Porserud represented the company in front of the Shark Tank judges.

AppJobs has helped some 300,000 people to find an app to make money through human cloud platforms and each week adds more than 10,000 new members.

Co-winner Keeper Tax aims to assist human cloud workers with their taxes. Workers sign up online and link their credit card or bank account to the site, which uses machine learning to identify tax write-offs on a year’s worth of transactions. It also enables them to file taxes.

“We’re like Turbo Tax for gig workers,” said Paul Koullick, founder and CEO of Keeper Tax, who presented before the judges.

Koullick noted the average gig worker leaves $1,200 on the table every year by overpaying in taxes. Keeper Tax aims to prevent that from happening.

While the judges chose AppJobs and Keeper Tax, audience members at the conference also voted for their top firm, and they chose Parker Dewey.

Parker Dewey connects students to companies through micro internships. There’s no conversion fee if a company hires a student worker; Parker Dewey makes 10% off each project with the average cost per project at $350. Jeffrey Moss, founder and CEO, represented the company before the sharks.

Other finalists presenting before the judges included Khonvo, represented by Andrew Rising, founder and CEO, which aims to provide automation to assist recruiters, and F| Staff, represented by CEO Justin Clarke, which provides an online platform for truck driver staffing.

Shark Tank judges at the event were Thomas Jajeh, CEO and founder of twago; Jody Miller, co-founder and CEO of Business Talent Group; Gary Swart, general partner of Polaris Partners; and Fabio Rosati, executive chairman at Snag.

The Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference ends today.


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