Clear Computing: Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track Finalist

Who are the team members?

 James Giordani, MSW ’22

Tell us briefly about your business idea.

Clear Computing helps older adults learn how to use technology to better their quality of life and extend their independence.

What was the origin of this venture?

While working at a local computer repair shop, I saw firsthand how challenging technology could be for many folks. Often, they felt shame or frustration for struggling with devices which were marketed as being “intuitive” or “easy to use.” When they sought help it was often met with a “Mom, just Google it” or a “it’s easy Dad, just figure it out yourself.” I often heard the words “I’m so stupid when it comes to technology.” In reality, they were bright people who just needed someone professional to answer their tech questions, or walk through their tech problems together.

What do you think will be the long-term impact of launching your venture?

It’s easy to see the pride and excitement in our clients when they learn to use an online health portal so they can message their doc, figure out Instacart so they can have their groceries delivered and avoid COVID-19 exposure, or master Zoom so they can have a robust interaction with their family. The benefits technology can have on a person’s quality of life and the independence are profound so we can’t wait to grow and touch the lives of a great number of older adults.

How did you form your team?

We are currently just a one-person-team featuring a guy doing something he loves. If you or someone you know might be interested in hopping on this little venture (which has quite a lot of room to grow) reach out to jgio@umich.edu.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the MBC experience (so far)?

That there’s a big community out there that’s eager to support you and your venture. Everyone has been so welcoming and happy to help.

What are your plans following MBC? How would prize money help your venture?

I’m excited to evolve Clear Computing from a fun side-gig to a full blown business. Prize money will be spent on recruiting employees, customer discovery, and (don’t tell the judges) a small amount will be dedicated to a backyard barbecue launch party.

What advice do you have for other student entrepreneurs?

1. Just YOLO it 2. Ask for help before things get iffy 3. It’s OK to say I don’t know.