Jobble wants to create a marketplace for event staffers

Your company is throwing a cocktail shindig and you need someone to staff the check-in table for two hours. How do you fill that kind of extremely short-term gig?

A startup with roots on two local campuses, Jobble, has built a mobile app and website that will try to supply a solution. Jobble is a marketplace for event staffers available for such tasks as handing out flyers at a festival or helping assemble a trade show booth. The startup will handle payments to event staffers, taking a 20 percent fee off the top. Jobble says it has seven companies lined up to beta test the service.

Today, event planners “go back and forth between Craigslist and temp agencies,” says Matthew Osofisan, Jobble’s chief marketing officer. “They don’t have great control over finding reliable, top-quality people to work their events.”

The roots of the business go back to 2011, when Suffolk University student Zack Smith started Collegiate Contacts, a company that recruited students to work events for clients like JetBlue, Stop & Shop, and the Boston Globe (which owns this site). While Collegiate Contacts used e-mail to communicate with clients and find students willing to work specific events, for Jobble, the process will be a good deal more automated. The startup recently received a $10,000 grant through Northeastern University’s IDEA program. (The other two founders are Northeastern alums.)

Companies looking to hire can see staffer profiles and ratings on their past performance. Workers can use the Jobble mobile app and select events based on their availability, the event’s location, and significantly, the pay rate. Jobble handles the paperwork — such as sending out 1099-MISC forms — for workers who earn more than $600 through the site in a year.

Smith says the startup is hoping to raise a seed round of funding soon.