Spoon sat down with the founders of Envoy, a new student-run service that promises to quickly deliver food to the doorsteps of USC students for $3.
Since their web-only service launched in March, the founders have been hiring more “Envoys” who deliver food and have also been developing an iPhone application which will be available for download this Sunday, making dinner as easy as calling an Uber.
Unlike food delivery services like Seamless and GrubHub, Envoy claims to give back to USC students by hiring only students to deliver for $15 to $20 an hour.
As pictured, from left to right, here are the guys who are looking to speed up food delivery on a campus near you.
Anthony Zhang, Co-Founder
Major: Business Administration
What’s your Favorite Food around campus? Pizza studio. I like that you can put unlimited toppings.
There are a ton of food options around campus, but just the accessibility from student to restaurant is just lacking. I’m sure students won’t mind paying a service charge especially if that service charge is going to another USC student.
Why did you guys want to make Envoy? We were freshman dorm roommates and didn’t really know each other but there was one thing we agreed upon, if by the end of freshman year we didn’t start anything or try to we’d be pretty mad at ourselves. We realized that there are a lot of food options around campus, but not enough accessibility. Both of us have the entrepreneurial gene and this is how far it’s taken us.
Why did you want to make Envoy? There are a ton of food options around campus, but just the accessibility from student to restaurant is just lacking, a lot of them don’t deliver. So if we get our students’ favorite foods at their fingertips, quickly, I’m sure they won’t mind paying a service charge especially if that service charge is going to another USC student.
What’s your role? Chad and I are co-founders. I’m more in charge of strategy and direction and getting funding. We’ve got a few angel investors and support from friends and family.
Biggest Challenge? We’re also college students and a lot of people tell us to drop out of college, but USC is so great that we still want to be students. Obviously it’s a pretty tough challenge dedicating this much time to run a company. I’ve got an essay and a midterm this week, but we’re also launching this week.
Chad Massura, Co-Founder
Major: Business of Cinematic Arts
What’s your Favorite Food around campus? Chipotle.
What’s your role? My role is to focus on development. I have been doing most of the correspondence with developers as well as deciding which features to develop sooner and which to push back.
Why did you want to make another food delivery service? Anthony and I were just sitting around in our dorm rooms and we just realized how bad food options were late at night. And we were just brainstorming how to make that better and we just fell upon the idea.
Biggest Challenge? I would say the biggest challenge so far is development. We’ve hired a couple of students at USC to develop and a student at Berkeley and we’ve outsouced through freelancers and it’s been a long and expensive ordeal to get an app on the App Store.
Nick Wang, CFO
Major: Business Administration
What’s your Favorite Food around campus? Chicken sandwiches for days from Chick-Fil-A.
How did you get into this? My roommate and I were looking for jobs earlier and we heard about this. I guess the four of us had good chemistry and these guys thought we had something more to bring to the table than just delivering food. We’re at just at unique part of our lives where we can take risks like these and have stuff to fall back on.
What’s your role? I run the financials, keep books. We’ve been putting our heads together and kind of split things up.
What did you learn from your last semester? From last year, we didn’t see criticism like “why don’t I use Grubhub;” there are a couple of customer service issues which we’re working on. We think that our service is unique enough, students delivering to students.
The best thing was when we first started delivering and first started showing up students’ doors inside the dormitory and just seeing the looks on their faces “Wait, how are you here? They don’t need to go downstairs…we’re actually at their doorstep.”
Biggest Challenge? We’re all on the same page, development has been the biggest pill to swallow, just getting everything done and making it perfect. We only have one launch.
Something you didn’t expect to learn? It was a shock how far professionalism can take you, regardless of your age.
The Envoy application will be available on Sunday and to create an account you will need to have a “usc.edu” email.
If you’re looking to work for Envoy, they’re hiring.