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March 31, 2019 | Tom Ballard

Former UT students launch start-up focused on customer convenience

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Start-ups come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Many of those that we spotlight are about technology but, at our core, we are focused on telling the stories of entrepreneurs and their journey from idea to implementation.

One that we encountered recently is not based on an invention developed at one of the region’s technology generators – Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee (UT). Rather, it’s all about convenience for its customers, and some of those are no doubt the scientists and researchers who are generating those technologies.

The company is Pit Crew, officially launched in August 2018 by Josh Tillery and several other former UT students. It is a mobile auto service that performs oil changes, tire rotations, and wiper blade replacement for customers at times most convenient for them.

“We worked on the idea for 10 months before starting it,” Tillery told us in a recent interview. He is the only one of the Founders who is employed by the start-up, but he says every Co-Founder is involved in one way or another.

“They are putting-in lots of effort to make this thing go,” he said, noting that one of the Co-Founders has a strong marketing and social media background that is greatly helping Pit Crew.

The four met as students. Tillery is from Northeast Tennessee, two are from Knoxville, and another is from Raleigh, NC.

“We talked a lot about wanting to start a business,” he says of the group. One of the five is in medical sales, meaning he travelled a good deal and needed service on his car every month.

As noted above, the focus is on providing a service, both for individuals and for companies whether large or small. More of the recent growth has been on what Tillery characterizes as the “fleet side.” Those range from plumbing and heating and cooling companies that have a few vehicles to larger corporations.

“We are there for anyone needing maintenance services,” he says.

For now, there are two full-time employees – Tillery and Andrew Dacus. The fleet side is growing, and Tillery says the retail side has seen steady growth since the beginning of 2019.

Those interested in booking a service can do so at this link.

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