At first glance WeDeliver, a Chicago startup, looks like a hybrid between your typical delivery service and a courier service. That’s probably because it is, with a twist.
WeDeliver connects local businesses to their customers by providing same day delivery of products and goods. Sure delivery and courier services aren’t new, but crowdsourcing the service is.
WeDeliver takes on and vets delivery drivers who are looking for a little extra money delivering anything from clothing, flowers, and knick knacks, to small appliances, bicycles and other goods. The drivers use their own vehicles and are properly vetted by the company. Because they have a fleet of drivers with their own vehicles, WeDeliver is able to offer a wide range of delivery services from people who need something that will fit in a truck or a passenger seat, to something that needs a small van or small truck, and everything in between.
What sets them apart and positions WeDeliver for success is the hands on approach their founders and staff are taking. Where there are some apps that are trying to automate the process, they know that some human interaction needs to be involved for vetting, dispatching, and matching up deliveries, customers, and drivers.
Earlier this summer when we were at Chicago TechWeek, the crowd was buzzing for WeDeliver. They had about ten people with them and you could spot a WeDeliver shirt anywhere. They all talked up the service very well, to the point where it won the startup contest!
We got a chance to interview them, check out the interview below.
What is your startup called?
What does your company do?
WeDeliver connects local businesses (small and medium sized) to their customers by providing same-day delivery of products and goods.
Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?
Kirk Lashley, Co-Founder, CTO
Kirk, a native of Trinidad and Tobago and tech entrepreneur determined to solve real world problems, was a grad and Dev Engineer at University-West Indies. Kirk has more than 15 years of professional software development experience and was the owner/operator of a Web design company in Trinidad. Currently, he’s an organizer for Startup Weekend Trinidad and Tobago and Startup Weekend Chicago. Kirk’s passionate about sharing his technology and entrepreneurship in these startup ecosystems.
Jimmy Odom, Founder, CEO
Jimmy is founder/CEO of WeDeliver and is responsible for the vision and business development of the company. He gained experience working for five years at an Apple store, as owner/operator of a gourmet pizza delivery service and at The Starter League. Jimmy is a serial entrepreneur at heart, and his mission is to build a brand whose primary focus is to create more transformational experiences rather than transactional ones.
Daniela Bolzmann, Co-Founder, CMO
Daniela, an entrepreneur with expertise in community development, was most recently Director of Product Marketing at SymbalooEDU. She grew it from a startup to a successful 200k community of engaged educators worldwide. Daniela is a graduate of the Miyahlo School of Business at CSUF and founder of SocialSkoop, a digital marketing agency. As co-founder/CMO at WeDeliver, she uses her powers to help businesses of Chicago connect with the local community.
Where are you based?
What’s the startup scene like where you are based?
Chicago is truly an amazing city with the unique ability to have both the intimacy of a small town and the “hustle and bustle” and power players of a large metro area. The Chicago tech and startup scene is underrated and can sometimes be overlooked in favor of the traditional startup cities. This has been an advantage to us though it is rapidly changing due to organizations like 1871, TechStars Chicago, The Starter League and people like Mayor Rahm Emanuel, JB Pritzker and Troy Henikoff, to name a few.
What problem do you solve?
We believe that our same-day on demand delivery technology will help local retailers gain a competitive edge against big box E-retailers, like Amazon, while also creating jobs and spurring local economic growth.
Why not? The time is now for same-day delivery. The technology we are using for same-day delivery was not available previously. We are simply applying newer technology to an outdated courier industry that still runs off nextels and bad service.
What are some milestones your startup has already reached?
- We won 1st place at Startup Weekend, November 2012
- IBM Global Entrepreneur Mentor Day Winner, June 2013
- We won Techweek Chicago LAUNCH, June 2013
What are your next milestones?
We are on track to have more than 250 merchants and more than 100 drivers by year’s end.
Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?