Meet Andrew Citores one of the founding partners of JusCollege…
- What’s your company called and where is it based?
JusCollege – Based in Menlo Park, California.
- What does your company do?
JusCollege is the ultimate campus guide for your college and product/service marketplace for college campuses. Businesses offer their products and/or services to students at targeted universities at a discounted price. We offer online food ordering, discounted products, travel packages, textbooks, and a full-service concierge that handles event/travel planning, transportation bookings, and much more.
- How does your company help college students?
We maximize their college experience by saving them time and money. Our team is dedicated to find the best deals on the most reliable products and services for students. Our concierge has top notch customer service, anytime a student has any need, no matter how big or small, we are there to help. And if we do not offer the service or cannot help we will refer the student to someone who can.
- What was the biggest challenge you had while starting the biz?
That’s a tough question. We’ve faced various bumps in the road, but have been able to overcome them each and every time. Essentially, our biggest problems came when trying to raise initial capital, figuring out what works and doesn’t work at a fast pace meanwhile making changes on the fly. I think every start-up has to try a lot of things before figuring out what works best.
- Why did you start it? Where did the idea come from?
My partner Bo Thede and I both started working in the college market while we were students at our respective colleges. Bo went to CU Boulder, and I attended LMU for a short time. While a freshman at LMU, I helped upper class-men market events in the Hollywood area for students that included safe transportation to and from campus. After learning the ropes, I decided I wanted to try it on my own and learned that I was very good at not only producing the events, but also marketing them to several campuses in Los Angeles. Within a year, I had dropped out of college. I expanded the business to one-off events, fraternity and sorority event planning, transportation bookings, and college marketing. In the process of building my business, it dawned on me that students don’t have one central resource to help them with their needs. No one was looking out for college students and certainly not finding them the best deals, services, and resources. I began talking with a few friends who we’re involved in some college-based companies. Bo was helping run an online food ordering company in Boulder that became extremely successful. During his tenure, he managed to double the company’s revenue each year he was involved. Since various other friends we’re actively seeking ways to help college students, we all decided to sit down, where I pitched them the idea for JusCollege. Ever since, Bo and I have taken great strides, crafting innovative ways to make college life easier, for the full “college experience.”
- Where do you see the company in the next 5 years?
We see ourselves at the resource for everything college, we will always adapt and change to meet the needs of students. When a student thinks Spring Break, they should think JusCollege, when a student is hungry, they think JusCollege.
We see the college demographic as essential piece of the puzzle to helping companies prosper long-term. Students are the first to adapt to the latest and greatest technological and social advancements. College students are creating new trends and setting the social landscape for the present and near future. Companies attempting to create brand loyalty with the younger generation will service the college demographic, and make sure that students have the best experience possible. We want to teach companies in every industry the value that college students bring to the table. JusCollege wants to expand this vision by growing our network nationwide.
- What keeps you going when times are tough?
No doubt been high points accompanied by low points. The fact is, that we love what we do and will continue our dream of making college students lives easier. Being young and fresh out of college certainly helps, as we are able to adapt to our market or current problem in new and innovative ways each and every time. We wake up every morning happy to get into the office and be at the service of our students.
- What would you recommend to another entrepreneur looking to start a college business?
To be honest, we’re surprised more people aren’t starting businesses. A lot of people give up at their first obstacle. There are always ways around things and ways to adapt, we’ve been days away from shutting down shop multiple times, but we refused to give up. We love to quote one of our idols Steve Jobs, “The problem with the Internet startup craze isn’t that too many people are starting companies; it’s that too many people aren’t sticking with it.”
- Who’s your entrepreneur role model?
Steve Jobs and Tony Hsieh. Both are legends in the workplace, creating unique and successful ways of doing business. Steve Jobs focused on the product, creating a great product. Tony Hsieh focused on service, creating a company that lives and dies by their culture, and making people happy. We strive day in and day out to create an amazing product that is only surpassed by its great service.
- What’s the best thing about your company?
The best thing about JusCollege is that we are able to assist them with anything they would need during their college years in order to fully maximize their college experience. Your time in college is such a short, but great time period in young people’s lives, an experience that’s truly irreplaceable. We want to bring about the best times by making your involvement the greatest it can possibly be.
We hope you found this edition useful and informative. Feel free to post comments on who you’d like us to interview.
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