Student Startups is a weekly series created by Techvibes to highlight Canada's talented student entrepreneurs. Across the country, bright minds with brilliant ideas are launching businesses before they even graduate from school. We want to recognize and celebrate these ambitious youngsters, who refuse to let studying for exams hinder their drive to succeed as entrepreneurs. Student Startups profiles cover both the startups and the students behind them—in their own words.
In our third edition, we've got University of Waterloo students pitching their new venture, BufferBox.
In today’s environment, everyone shops online, typically for convenience. The problem? Failed parcel deliveries—being able to actually receive the purchases when they are delivered.
BufferBox has developed an automated, self-serve kiosk for students at the University of Waterloo to eliminate the frustrations and hassle involved with failed parcel deliveries. We have successfully deployed our first kiosk that allows for 24/7 pick-up of parcels at a convenient location.
The kiosk supplies the user with a unique BufferBox address to have their parcel delivered to. Upon its arrival, the user is emailed a unique, one-time-use PIN code for the kiosk to retrieve their parcel on their schedule. The BufferBox service restores the convenience of online shopping.
We made the focus of our Fourth Year Engineering Design project one that would make a difference: to help people get their stuff faster, cheaper and with a smile. BufferBox was founded by uWaterloo Mechatronics Engineering grads that absolutely hate missing deliveries. We were always in meetings, studying or hanging out with friends—all things we were not willing to sacrifice to wait for a package in case it arrived sometime during business hours.
Being frequent online shoppers for frivolous things like textbooks, robot components, and snuggies, we missed parcels almost every week. Plus, being frequent public transit patrons didn’t help us much in reaching the depots of FedEx, UPS and DHL in Far Far Away.
Our three BufferBox Co-Founders are all graduates of the Mechatronics Engineering program at the University of Waterloo with diverse technical and business backgrounds.
Jay Shah is driven by seeing ideas come to life and has had previous experience in running a successful start-up. Jay has a passion for agile development, enabling for fast and efficient R&D cycles, an aspect that is critical for the company’s early success. Jay’s previous work experience at TD Asset Management as well as his role as a Financial Analyst with a previous start-up, positions him well to oversee the financial aspects of the company. Jay loves Star Wars and all things tech.
Mike McCauley’s previous work experience with Cypress Semiconductor as well as Research In Motion in Product Management and Product Marketing roles provides him with valuable skills for the company’s business development and external relations roles. His presence and social aptitude in forging meaningful and long lasting relationships with key contacts is a tremendous asset to the company. Mike is a master at Settlers of Catan and is a tea-connoisseur.
Aditya Bali has had a variety of technical positions ranging from high-tech startups to large automation firms. His core competencies are electromechanical design and automation controls software. Aditya takes care of BufferBox’s mechanical design and contributes to the company’s marketing efforts. He has worked with a variety of customers and understands how to effectively translate customer needs to high quality turnkey solutions – a definite asset for BufferBox. He loves music, especially going to concerts, and is a force to be reckoned with on the squash court.
Brad Moggach, BufferBox’s first hire, is still a student at the University of Waterloo completing a degree in Political Science. In the past, Brad has served as President of the Federation of Students and the Arts Student Union. His involvement in student government and active interest in social media and communications lend well to his role as Director of Sales and Marketing. Brad is a huge fan of the Toronto Blue Jays and is a political junkie.
BufferBox has seen great success with our first deployment at the University of Waterloo. Moving forward, we are looking to forge similar partnerships with other universities, including student unions and campus bookstores. Additionally, we hope to bring this technology to commercial properties and residential areas permanently ridding the world of failed parcel deliveries and achieving full world domination.
If you're a student entrepreneur and want to tell the world about your startup, let us know.