UA students launch new delivery service UgoBy Lane Stafford | 10/16/2015 4:48pm
CW | Shelby Akin
When John Newman, a senior majoring in communications at the University of Alabama, ran out of snacks and other necessities at home, he wished there was a quicker and more convenient way than making a trip to the store. He wished he could make a call and have someone deliver the items he needed.
Teaming with fellow students Cole McGuire, Will Randle and Chris Keane, Newman went about making that dream a reality. After seven months of preparation, the company, called Ugo, started its “soft launch” this week. The company's name stems from the slogan, “We go wherever you go."
“We are giving the customer a convenience store in their pocket. Which I think is going to change how people view the term convenience,” Newman said.
The service will deliver convenience store items such as snacks, coffee, drinks, health and beauty products, and even things like phone chargers and batteries. Their goal is to deliver the items to customers in 20 minutes or less with a $2 delivery fee. Customers will be able to order through the Ugo App or the Ugo Website.
If customers are not ordering from a dorm they are able to use Bama Cash. Ugo has it’s own warehouse, meaning they are not driving to another store and then to the customer making the delivery process quicker.
Randle, a senior majoring in marketing, explained the company as a new concept, not a new product.
“We’re not selling anything you can't find anywhere else. We’re selling convenience.” Randle said. “We’re hoping that the $2 is worth less to you than the time it would take to go out and have to get something, especially if it’s late at night or even if you’re coming back from the bars.”
McGuire, a senior majoring in accounting, said the company also hopes to keep drivers under the influence off the road by offering a safer way for them to retrieve the things they want.
“Instead of making a late night McDonald’s run under the influence, they can just get on our app and order things they want,” McGuire said.
The Ugo App has many features including the ability to tell you exactly who and where your driver is through a GPS feature. The app includes all of its items on one page making is easier to navigate and view options.
Newman said the customers will shape what the company becomes. Suggestions boxes and requests will ultimately form the inventory of Ugo.
Newman explained the company as “UA students working for UA students.”
Initially Ugo’s soft launch will be very lax by only delivering to three Greek organizations on campus. After the soft launch, they plan to expand to all Greek organizations and then all of campus and eventually the entire Tuscaloosa area.
The hours in which they plan to operate are 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday. The weekend hours are still being decided.
Newman feels success is inevitable with the team they have together. He said they all bring different talents and insights to the business.
They have enjoyed starting the company and are looking forward to the future of the company.
“We’re probably here more than 60 hours a week, and it doesn’t feel like work because its fun,” McGuire said.
Ugo currently has six delivery drivers, but they need more. Anyone interested in employment with Ugo should contact Chris Keane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ugo hopes to eventually find itself on other campuses across the country and hopes that word will spread across the University this semester.