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Chappaqua Resident's Website Links MBA Students To Small Businesses

Peter Maglathlin, left, Pat Petitti and Rob Biederman co-founded in a Harvard Business School class.
Peter Maglathlin, left, Pat Petitti and Rob Biederman co-founded in a Harvard Business School class. Photo Credit: Brendan Hart

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Most small businesses would love to hire a consultant to help them maneuver through the workdays—if they could afford it. Thanks to Chappaqua resident Rob Biederman, maybe now they can. links MBA students who have spare time with small businesses that lack the funds to hire a consultant but could use help or advice from qualified minds from premier consulting or accounting firms and investment banks.

“Hourly Nerd matches MBA students who have time, want to make extra money and would like to do real projects for bona fide businesses with small businesses that seek help extra help, but cannot afford a major consulting company like a McKinsey, Booz Allen & Hamilton, Deloitte, or Bain,” said Biederman.

“These jobs can be doing analysis, financial forecasting, accounting, website development, or any task that helps a small business succeeds,” he added.

Biederman, 26, co-founded Hourly Nerd with 27-year old Darien resident Peter Maglathlin and 29-year old Boston native Patrick Petitti.

All three are Harvard Business School students.

In fact, the company’s birth began when Biederman, Maglathlin and Petitti, came up with the idea to use the Internet to link small businesses with MBA students as part of a course requirement for students to start up a business. 

When Harvard’s school doors open for summer May 15 and the course concludes, the trio plans to make it a genuine for profit business with a first round of financing. They believe there is a niche market for such a service, if the site’s first few months are any indication.

Through referrals, social network mentions and word of mouth, there are already more than 375 MBA students around the country (from all of the top 20 business schools) and around the world have signed up for Hourly Nerd. Students come from top business schools such as Wharton, Stanford, Columbia and Tuck. About 20 small businesses are currently seeking help and the numbers are expected to reach 50 to 100 in the near future.

So, how exactly does it work?

Essentially, businesses post their needs to Hourly Nerd, MBAs place a bid by uploading a resume, how much they want to be paid per hour and how long it would take them. The company can then look through the bids and select the candidate best suited for them.

Hourly Nerd holds on to the money while the work is going on, so it can guarantee the MBA that the company will pay and the company that the MBA will complete the work. Once the project is complete, Hourly Nerd transfers the money with a 5 percent service fee.

For those interested in finding out more or using the site, visit

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