Student takes iPhone repair business from dorm room to boardroom

Andrea Tinning

From replacing broken iPhone screens from the comfort of his old dorm in Jester to interning at Google in Boulder, Colorado, one UT student is making money moves. Marketing junior Anthony Matthews built his resume by expanding his small business, iGoRepair, from sole proprietorship in Austin to an LLC operating in Austin, College Station and Abilene.

The expansion happened after a friend attending Texas A&M offered to bring the business to College Station, and in order to operate in Abilene, Matthews’ hometown, he enlisted a close family member.

“I technically hired my dad. I mean, legally, that’s what I did,” Matthews said. “He’s been killing it over there.”

iGoRepair is just one the things Matthews’ father is proud of his son for achieving — Anthony Matthews is also a first-generation college student. 

“School is important; I didn’t have the opportunity when I was a kid, so school is important for all of my kids,” Shane Matthews said. “It’s the biggest accomplishment.”

Looking into the future, Shane Matthews is confident his son will succeed wherever life takes him. 

“He’s a smart kid,” Shane Matthews said. “If he tries, he can pretty much accomplish whatever he wants.”

For Anthony Matthews, the best career moves come from problem solving, and often the solution is the most simple one. 

“You don’t have to make the next app or the next Uber,” Anthony Matthews said. “iGoRepair is just a normal iPhone repair shop, except we’re on the go. I just tied two categories together and saw the demand for it. If you see a problem somewhere, get the solution.”

That attitude is what attracted attention from Google recruiters, and starting this May, Anthony Matthews will work from Boulder, Colorado, as a Global Customer Experience team member for Google AdWords. Anthony Matthews said he chose to intern as a customer service agent because service is a standard at any business, and it teaches patience and problem-solving.

“A lot of that can be transferable not only to my company but also my career path,” Anthony Matthews said.

Firsthand understanding is an important element to how Anthony Matthews chooses to approach not only his company but also his degree. Business lecturer John Highbarger, retired global managing partner for strategy practice of Accenture, said Anthony Matthews is someone not to be overlooked in class discussions and is able to offer feedback based off of his own experience
owning iGoRepair.

It’s not unusual for McCombs students to own small businesses or startups, but Highbarger said it’s possibly the best thing a business student can do to prepare for life after graduation.

“My personal feeling is that students who start business and get them going successfully are doing a lot to prepare themselves for success in the business world,” Highbarger said. 

This sentiment rings true for Anthony Matthews, who credits his status as a young entrepreneur and business owner for catching Google’s definition.

Although iGoRepair is a special part of Anthony Matthews’ career, the improvement of cell phone technology has made screens less breakable and consequently more expensive. Regardless of his company’s future, Matthews’ said he’s ready for the next step and is thankful for the experience owning his own business has brought him.

“Whether you succeed or fail, it’s really a success,” Anthony Matthews said. “It gives you something to talk about, and it’s still a good learning experience.”