Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Budding entrepreneurs deliver on new mobile app for the District

The District has long been an area with a booming tech start-up industry and a vibrant entrepreneurial scene.

And local young African Americans are taking advantage of the rapidly expanding opportunities, developing tech LLCs, support groups and ventures to nurture their dreams.
Enter Ron Cade and Adrienne Sheares, two budding entrepreneurs who this week launched a delivery service mobile app for the Washington area.

Urban Delivery allows users to request carriable items for pickup or purchase and then have them delivered. Need your dry cleaning picked up before a business meeting but can’t get away? Urban Delivery will send a bike messenger to bring it to you. Need a small item, say an iPhone charger, bought and delivered? Tap the app on your iPhone or Android-powered device and request a courier.
Sheares, 26, a graduate of Spelman College, used her experience in communications to create the app. She and Cade met while playing on a kickball team and worked on the app for seven months last year. She said the idea started with a question.

“Since everything is pretty instant in our world with social media, why can’t you get the things you want in the physical world on demand?” Sheares said.

Cade is a 26-year-old graduate of Morehouse College and a bike enthusiast, so much so that he has a tattoo of a fixed gear bike on his right arm. That same bike is the logo for Urban Delivery.

Cade shared his thoughts and expectations for Urban Delivery with The Root DC.

For those not in the tech world, how would you explain the process, the different stages of developing this app?
We started off with the idea of what we wanted it to be and then looked at basically the infrastructure of apps now and what the capabilities were, and then we just brought in people to build it.

Sheares referred to you as a serial entrepreneur. Why do you think entrepreneurship is so important?
I think entrepreneurship is important in general because it changes the world. That sounds really broad but if there weren’t entrepreneurs and creative people we’d be kind of stuck with what corporations give us, what really big companies give us, what big institutions give us.

Entrepreneurship is cool because it gives — you can have any idea you want and you can bring it light and people can enjoy it and use it and get value out of it. Entrepreneurship is like art.

What challenges, if any, did you two face along the way?
Not being a technical guy myself [and] Adrienne not being a technical girl. I wouldn’t say it was too challenging. We were able to bring ourselves up to speed and had some really good developers.

What advice would you give to others interested in developing their own start-ups?
If you have an idea, just start taking steps in the direction and just try to build it out. I mean, there’s not really a limit on what you can do. It’s corny advice, because it’s the same advice everybody gives, but I think if you want to do something just get started and the rest of the pieces will fall in place.

Source: Washington Post

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