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'Everything at a good price for everybody': Students launch new delivery app

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Speedi Delivery App Store display in front of Speedi Delivery warehouse location at 157 East Franklin Street on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023.

One night during their sophomore year, Eli Lippman and Casper Mika recalled the far distance they walked from South Campus to Franklin Street during their first year at UNC whenever they needed basic items. That night sparked an idea to solve their accessibility struggles. 

Now as juniors, Lippman and Mika have worked together to develop that idea into Speedi Delivery — a company they hope will help many students on campus. Speedi Delivery, which made its public launch via social media on Oct. 15., aims to deliver products in categories such as snacks, candy, beverages, hygiene and nutrition in 15 minutes or less with a $1.99 flat delivery fee. 

“There was a shortage and we wanted to fill the market with a good service that will basically allow for everybody to have more and easier access to food, and in a much faster and easier way,” Mika said.

Lippman and Mika began the business development process at the beginning of 2023. Mika said they started by creating a business plan and searching for an app developer. 

“It was a pretty drawn-out process because we tried to find a good developer, but at the same time, we didn't want to pay an exorbitant amount of money,” Mika said. “So it was tough to find the right person.”

He said they were ultimately able to find an affordable app developer through a referral from a friend. 

Next, Lippman and Mika searched for their current warehouse location, which is on Franklin Street. That is where Lippman said they store all of their inventory, which allows them to keep their delivery times short. Speedi uses the flat delivery fee to keep the process simple and affordable for students, he said.

Mika said they strive to keep their product prices competitive. 

“We buy in bulk and that helps us keep our costs low and basically ensure that we have everything at a good price for everybody,” he said. 

First-year Vedanga Pathare had not heard of the company before, but said he would consider using it in the future. He said he believes the company can offer more access to products for students on campus. 

“Some people might have circumstances where they might not be able to walk that far. They might have too much work or something else,” Pathare said. “And it's always just easier, a lot more convenient.”

Lippman and Mika are already looking to further develop the business.

They are starting with two employees to help with delivery operations, but Mika said they hope to potentially hire more employees and a warehouse manager, depending on sales rates. 

He said they also hope to eventually hire UNC student interns to help with operations such as marketing, graphic design or computer science-based app development. Mika added he believes hiring UNC students specifically will help embody the “Of students, for students” principle of the company. 

Speedi Delivery has a contact form on its app that allows customers to provide feedback on their operations or leave suggestions for new products they would like to see offered. Mika said he hopes to use customer feedback to expand their product offerings and cater to the diverse needs of the UNC student population. 

“For now, we're just going to work on expanding, making sure operations are very solid, and expanding our offerings,” Mika said. “Then, we'll see where it takes us.”

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

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