Garfield native Mark Quiles is making swimming pools safer for summer with a company that he likens to Uber... but for lifeguards.
Two years ago, the NJIT senior launched League of Lifeguards, which recruits and certifies lifeguards before matching them with jobs at pools, parties and other swimming events.
The 22-year-old has been able to protect more than 10,000 lives so far.
"I’ve been a lifeguard since I was 15 and realized there was an opportunity capitalize on my skill set," Quiles said.
"Since most lifeguards make an average of minimum wage to $12 per hour, I want to disrupt the aquatics industry by becoming the Uber for lifeguards."
Quiles, who has been working as a lifeguard since he was 15, recently took second place in the UPitchNJ 2018 Business Model Competition, hosted at Montclair State University for his business.
While he started League of Lifeguards using social media, he is now developing an app for the company that will function like Airbnb and Uber, and looks to gain market share within the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He's hoping to eventually bring the company to markets in California, Texas and Arizona.
“Every entrepreneur in some way wants to be successful, but it takes time, focus, persistence and willpower," Quiles said.
"Every achievement is something to feel proud of, but it’s also a reminder to keep working harder in order to truly build out a vision.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.