When AJ Forsythe, 29, was a student at Cal Poly, he found himself overspending to fix a perpetually damaged iPhone.
"I kept breaking my phone throughout the years," he tells CNBC. "And this was when it was about $200 to have it repaired." So Forsythe, a junior at the time, decided to take matters into his own hands: "I ended up taking my phone apart, ordering some parts online and fixing it myself."
It turns out he wasn't the only student with a broken smartphone and little money to repair it. "My roommate broke his phone, so I fixed it, and then I just basically started fixing my friends' phones when they'd break," says Forsythe.
It didn't take long to figure out that "college is a hotbed for people breaking their devices."