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    Date submitted
  • 02-Oct-2017

Shed

Abstract

Inspired by the kibbutzim of Israel, Shed seeks to apply the concepts learned from the services sector of the sharing economy to shared purchases. Serving as a social platform, Shed brings together consumers interested in purchasing the same durable good item, places the order, then splits the bill amongst the involved parties. After the initial purchase, the app continues its integration with organizational services, such as messaging and calendar scheduling, to help plan out item use and encourage continued use of the service. Shed likewise expands its use beyond individual purchases by including neighborhood-wide virtual communal sheds for item borrowing, leasing, buying, and selling thereby creating a close-knit product use ecosystem between users.

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Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Shed works best in dense or semi-dense population centers, those with a local user base large enough to support continued shared purchases. 81% of United States households may be classified as urban or suburban, and it is these population centers that experience the highest growth rates. By focusing on the subsection of households making between $60,000 and $200,000 per annum, Shed caters to households that are money conscious and wish not to overspend on items with limited usability, yet still have expendable income, able to make those impulse purchases listed on Feed. These values may vary by market, as the definition of middle class is dependent on region. However, based on these values, Shed estimates a potential capturable market of 48.315mm households.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

How does Shed work in practice? Consider a durable good item that is seldom used, such as a lawn mower. Rather than spend upwards of $100 on an item that will be used once or twice per month, a Shed user marks his interest in lawn mowers or lawn care goods and can even make a listing in search of others seeking a lawn mower. From there, interested parties can sign on to the purchase, which will be executed by Shed, and once the item arrives at the doorstep of one of the involved parties, users will continue to use the application to communicate amongst each other and schedule use with the item so as to avoid conflict. With a larger user base and consequent quicker response rate, this same concept may be applied to food goods, including beer or pizza. Shed charges each user a fee, to be determined, for processing the transaction and placing the order. Shed will also allow for advertised and sponsored items and discounts for further monetization.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Shed occupies a unique market niche. Whereas other split purchase applications exist, including Venmo or Apple Pay, the process is not streamlined. For those aforementioned apps, as well as all other current market solutions, the purchase exists independently of the transaction between friends. Shed intends to integrate all components, thereby allowing for any group to use the service to purchase an item while also splitting the bill at the point of sale. Furthermore, Shed remains relevant after delivery by implementing item scheduling and reserve calendars as well as means of renting out or leasing equipment when not in use by others so as to reduce costs for the end user. Each of these components facilitated by Shed are already things people do every day; students, friends, and neighbors share purchases at every turn. As a result, we are confident consumers will jump at the opportunity to make the process even more painless, as was already proven by rudimentary purchase split systems like Venmo.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

The Shed team is equipped, capable, and has the chemistry to succeed in the market. With the team’s previous experience in start up environments, each member understands the dynamics of the workplace and the work flow. This previous experience will allow the team to quickly understand, adapt, and succeed in any scenario. Furthermore, each member brings with him a technical capacity which will allow the team to collectively move quickly and pivot when necessary. With overarching experience in both business and software development, the team has the necessary skillset, experience, and know-how to build a company. The Shed team also has the chemistry so integral to persevering through setbacks and roadblocks; each member is not only a partner but best friends. While Shed may be apart during the school year, everyone has managed to administer weekly tasks through Kanbans, Slack Channels, and Skype accounts. The geographic gap has not slowed progress and the relationships have proved great in the workplace as well. Collectively, the Shed team brings professional experience, technical skillsets, and the right vision and attitude to foster success. Colin was valedictorian of his high school before attending the University of Virginia under the Echols Honors program and spent his summer of 2017 interning in private equity. Jake Young is well versed in start-ups and programming with active involvement in HackCville and Duke Mobile App development as well as spending his summer of 2017 interning as a software developer under Weisbeerger. JC Liang has likewise researched under the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab and the C.N Yang Institute for Physics; as a Stanford student, he has interned under Digital Interactive Virtual Reality (DIVR).