As a general contractor for 10 years, Joshua Engelbrecht experienced first hand the skilled labor problem that plagues the construction industry.
Engelbrecht is the co-founder and CEO fo Vancouver, Washington-based ToolBelt, a digital network that connects contractors with skilled laborers as an online staffing marketplace. According to the article, Engelbrecht was frustrated by the tedious process of trying to find construction labor and how it slowed production capacity. He relied on leveraging his personal network.
To combat the struggle to find crews to keep up with his project during the busy season, he knew a digital solution connecting both sides would help everyone with production.
“I come from a problem-solving industry where every project is different and has its challenges,” Engelbrecht told Geekwire. “Software in my eyes is very comparable. In both industries, you are building an end product that is always full of things you didn’t expect until you start to break ground.”
While he misses working directly with customers, Engelbrecht finds joy in building ToolBelt with the startup’s 10-person team, servicing more than 2,000 contractors in the Pacific Northwest.
ToolBelt has raised more than $1 million from investors including Elevate Capital, Bellingham Angel Group, Cascade Seed Fund, Portland Seed Fund, and Alliance of Angels. They hope to expand to the rest of the West Coast in 2021.