Rutgers Executive MBA ’15 Ralph Shulberg interviewed in Downtown Magazine NYC about his innovative new business

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
New York, NY

Downtown Magazine NYC

Have you ever dropped your cell phone? Odds are that you have, and that drop led to its screen being cracked. Instead of feeling hopeless and clumsy, there is a wonderful alternative out there in the form of Smartbulance. 

Founded by Ralph Shulberg, Rutgers Executive MBA ’15, Smartbulance is an economical and efficient repair service for smartphones. Customers are offered emergency repairs via pickup and drop-off as Smartbulance services all five New York City boroughs and neighboring Hudson County. And for those dropping off, Smartbulance also provides a bit of spectacle, as its team emphasizes its emergency concept by working out of an ambulance.

Ralph spoke to Downtown about what inspired him to start up the company, which is in the midst of tremendous growth. He opened up about Smartbulance's new partnership with the MTA; the first kiosk under this collaboration launches in May. 

Where did the idea for the ambulance come from? Did you have the idea for the vehicle before you had the name?

I identified this trend and timing of the market saturation early in 2012. I developed a transition strategy to downsize my brick and mortar locations down to 2, apply to business school with the end goal of entering the mobile device repair industry when I graduated. I enrolled in Rutgers Executive MBA program in 2013. 

It was during this time when I realized just how busy working professionals are. They are busy with work, family life, and many had decided to go back to school thus reducing their free time even further. 

My classmates constantly were showing up to class with broken devices with no time to get them repaired. I asked about their IT departments and most of them laughed and explained how inefficient the repair process was for enterprise accounts. 

By January 2014 I had developed a business plan on how we would use state of the art repair trucks to bring the repair shop to enterprise customers, their employees, and individual customers. So the idea for the trucks came first.

I graduated with my Executive MBA from Rutgers on May 20th took 10 days off and started Smartbulance on Jun. 1, 2015 by purchasing my first truck. It took 2 weeks to customize and we were on the road and in business by Jun. 15, 2015.

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TAGS: Alumni Executive MBA Farrokh Langdana