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Dorm-Room Startup iCracked Gives New Life to Bad Apples A college entrepreneur found a way to take the frustration out of fixing damaged mobile devices.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Cash-strapped college students don't usually have the money to fix their broken iPhone screens, or the patience to go weeks without a phone while it's being repaired. AJ Forsythe was one such scholar. When he cracked the screen on his iPhone for the sixth time in 18 months, he thought, There has to be another way.

The student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo had always been a tinkerer, often disassembling toys to see how they worked. So he decided to fix the phone himself, sourcing a new screen and parts from eBay. A few hours later, he'd saved more than a hundred bucks and ignited the spark for iCracked, the iPhone, iPod and iPad repair and buyback service he launched out of his dorm room in January 2010.

As word spread around campus, Forsythe's business grew steadily. Within a few months, he'd teamed up with Anthony Martin, an entrepreneurial-minded acquaintance, to explore turning iCracked into a full-time, scalable business. Their idea: Instead of hiring employees, they would train self-employed technicians who would run their own businesses and buy their materials through iCracked.

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