In baseball, coaches often remind young hitters to forget their last strikeout when they step back up to the plate.
Michael Eshragh, an assistant baseball coach at the College of Southern Nevada, applied the same mindset as an entrepreneur.
In June, Eshragh, 39, and a business partner launched Move It, an Uber-like delivery and moving service that serves the Las Vegas Valley.
It operates as an on-demand moving and handyman service. Move It workers, who are independent contractors, might do anything from picking up and delivering a couch or television to changing a lightbulb or rearrange living room furniture.
Despite starting the business during the pandemic, it’s been an early success, Eshragh said.
It’s an idea that Eshragh, a Las Vegas native who works in advertising when he’s not on the baseball diamond, came up with several years ago.
It came to him after an earlier enterprise — a fantasy sports outlet where players competed for money — failed to get off the ground a little over a decade ago.
“I started a company called Fantasy Lineup,” Eshragh said. “That was in 2006, about five years before FanDuel and DraftKings.”
Instead of a dream startup, though, the experience was more of a nightmare, Eshragh said.
After working with an application developer, Eshragh wasn’t satisfied with the product. And after several years of legal battles with the developer, he had nothing to show for his efforts, while DraftKings was on its way to becoming a multibillion-dollar company, Eshragh said.
It was like striking out in his final at-bat of a marathon extra-inning game with the game on the line. But the failure only strengthened his entrepreneurial spirit, Eshragh said.
He got the idea for Move It a few years ago but was too busy to give it the time it required.
Eshragh had noticed similar concepts in other cities and was aware of the inroads in the sharing economy with companies like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb.
“Las Vegas didn’t have anything like it,” Eshragh said. “We’re trying to make a big footprint in this industry. We want this to be a Fortune 500 company someday.”
Nick Rupp, 22, a former Spring Valley High School and CSN pitcher, is a Move It contractor.
Rupp, who plans to play baseball for UNLV next spring, said he can make as much as $85 an hour, including tips.
Move It has about 140 contractors, with about 20 who work consistently for the service, Eshragh said.
“Almost everyone who I’ve helped since starting about three months ago says this is the smartest thing in the world,” Rupp said. “It’s a really convenient service. You wouldn’t think about it until you see how it works and see how Move It can help.”
Eshragh said a key to Move It’s success has been a tedious process of adjusting and tweaking its smartphone app.
One example is a requirement that customers upload photos ofitems they need moved so the contractors can better prepare for the job.
Most of the time, a Move It contractor can be at a location in 45 minutes or less, Eshragh said. An average move costs $50 to $70, he said.
“I always knew this was a big, big idea,” Eshragh said. “There’s an opportunity, I think, for Move It to be a household name like Uber. We’re hoping that’s what will happen one day.”