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A Tech Startup in Mullica Hill?! Meet the Founders of Vate

John Viercinski and Michael DeGrande are changing how home improvement projects get done and planting their flag in Mullica Hill as a new tech startup.

Like many residents of the Hill, John and Mike were looking to do some remodeling and upgrades to their homes. They faced the same challenges all homeowners face: how to find the right contractor for the best price.

According to John, “Hiring contractors is such an aggravation. If I want to get a fair price, I need to have a few contractors come to my house, I have to take time out of my schedule to be home, I have to explain the same details, walk them through what I want done, and then hear all of their sales pitches. And then after all of that, I’ll only hear back from maybe one of them. It stinks”

After being frustrated with their contractor hiring experiences and not finding a good solution online, they decided to build their own solution and Vateapp.com was born.

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What is Vate and How Does it Work?

Vate is a new online platform that allows homeowners to post the details of their home improvement projects. Contractors can then view those details and provide an estimate without having to make a visit to your home. Homeowners signup and enter some basic information about the work they want done. They can post pictures, documents, and video walk-throughs of their project, essentially recreating the experience of a contractor visit.

“We worked with a number of different contractors to make sure we are asking the right questions,” Mike added. “If you ask the right questions and provide the right information, you don’t need anyone to come to your house to give you that estimate. So now instead of getting one or two estimates in person, projects on Vate can get half a dozen or more estimates.”

Vate's Current Project Types

What Makes Vate Unique

With Vate, John and Mike are emphasizing the homeowner’s ability to explain exactly what work they want done.

“We think that people know what they need and they can articulate that. If you can explain what you want to a contractor in-person, you can take your phone out and record that explanation instead” John said.

Mike believes that their approach is considerably different than other contractor finding services.

“Other online sites or apps that connect homeowners with contractors are typically partnering with a small number of contractors per area. Their goal is to connect you with one of their partner contractors.”

“They’re just making a referral and that contractor is paying an arm and a leg for that referral. Because our cost to contractors is super low, Vate can get you more estimates. More estimates means you’re going to save money.”

What Sorts of Projects can People Post on Vate?

Right now you can post projects for bathrooms, kitchens, painting, drywall, electrical, and landscaping. John and Mike plan to continue to add project types as the company grows. Both John and Mike both say they are committed to keeping Vate free for homeowners.

Is Vate an App or a Website or Both

Both. You can visit Vateapp.com right now on your phone, computer or tablet and signup to post your project. The app will soon be available for download in the Apple App store and Google Play.

About John & Mike

John & Mike are residents of Mullica Hill and come to VateApp with diverse complementary backgrounds that have helped the company grow from an idea at John’s kitchen table, to a unique platform for home renovations.

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John Viercinski​

Co-Founder
John is a married father of four girls and works full-time as a mechanical engineer for the Naval Surface Warfare Center in South Philadelphia. He earned his undergraduate degree at Drexel and has masters degrees from Penn State and the University of Southern California. John is a big home improvement enthusiast and has drawn on his years of experience to help build the platform.​
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Michael DeGrande​

Co-Founder
Mike is a married father of one girl and is a practicing trial lawyer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Mike graduated from Franklin & Marshall College and earned his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law.

John and Mike started Vate out of a passion to fix the broken home improvement marketplace and create an easier and better way to get estimates and hire contractors. Their work seems to be paying off.

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