They met during the first month of their fresh-man year at a WMXM 88.9FM event. Since then, they have regularly attended other ex-tracurricular activities together; in doing so, they have developed a long-lasting friendship that has lead to the first student-led delivery service on campus.
Tyler Armentrout’18 and Mariano Garcia Jr.’18 are two young entrepreneurs who, within a 24-hour time span, have launched Awubis, an on-campus delivery service that provides food and other items from various locations to any student’s dorm room.
“As freshmen, we heard a lot of people complaining about how far some things are [from campus]. One day we read an article about two entrepreneurs who created a new product every weekend, so we decided to challenge ourselves and we coded a website, implemented a service, and launched Awubis, all in one weekend,” Armentrout said.
Mariano Garcia had first bought the domain for Awubis thinking it was “a cool name for an URL.” Little did he know it would become one of the most successful student-led business ideas on Lake Forest College campus. It turns out that they receive their first request within the first four hours after launching the website on Sunday, February 21st. Consequently, they received multiple requests for orders that continue to come in.
“We told people that we would deliver the products as fast as we can. We are optimistic, but it’s been pretty underground now as we are concerned about the logistics and legalities,” Armentrout said.
While they have been having meetings with President Schutt and other administratives, Awubis seems to incentivize the creativity and leadership of other community members, which is why the college supports this beta-state project. Given that Awubis is a new service, they are still talking to people to make sure that the launch is successful.
Among the major concerns that could arise from the launching of the service is the potential competition. The possible competition from other Lake Forest College students represents a financial threat from an economic perspective. However, Armentrout is confident that Awubis can work among other delivery companies to provide a better service for students.
“We are really two hyperactive, ambitious freshmen who were looking to combine forces and do something together,” said Garcia. “Awubis is compromised to deliver “anything from the locations that we support on our website, except those products that require a government-issued ID, such as alcohol, cigarettes, and tobacco,” Garcia said.
Garcia, a computer science major, and Armentrout, finance major, have spoken with their professors about this idea. “Professor Amanda Felkey and Professor Stewart Foley have been really helpful” having their support, Armentrout said. He added that this support “is a beautiful thing.” Both have expressed professors are a large part of the reason why the idea is successful and why they came to Lake Forest College in the first place.
Regardless of their major area of study, other students are encouraged to launch their ideas. “Whatever it is you do, you can be an entrepreneur. It’s as simple as just having that mindset and being driven, constant-ly wanting to learn from other people. To ask questions, to be curious, to research, to find out more about this expansive world we live in. Go downtown and experience, speak with Lake Forest people, develop your ideas. It is kind of what Mariano and I have been doing. It’s been fun,” they both said.
For more information about Awubis, visit the official website, http://www.awubis.com.