Bright lights, big city and a very big idea – this Trinity alumnus is in the streets of New York turning what was a University class project into a business reality.
By Donna Parker
Josh Currie, who received a degree in economics and Spanish from Trinity in 2010, is excited...and for good reason. For starters, he lives in Manhattan which he loves. And for extra measure, he's a co-founder of a startup company based on an idea he and his group had while still at Trinity.
"It started as a class project my last semester. It was an entrepreneur and venture planning class and we were tasked with creating a startup that solved a problem we were experiencing personally," explains Josh.
"It's hard to find what you need as a student and to get rid of what you don't, so our goal is to simplify college commerce by creating an online marketplace where students can buy and sell on and around their campus while comparing user listings to local and online retail inventory."
DoUDeal.com was the result and keyed in on college-specific needs of students, eliminating the noise of existing online solutions and making the buying and selling process simpler, safer, and much more convenient. It also requires a dot.edu email address to add a layer of user transparency and accountability.
"Our very first investors were the parents of a good friend of mine and fellow graduate. As of now, my partners and I have 13 investors with the majority from New York City."
Josh wasted no time after graduation moving to the Big Apple - five days, to be exact. He says he'd interned at Time Inc. and fell in love with the city.
"I had no idea really what I wanted to do, but I knew what city I wanted to be in so I took a risk and found a job after a month. I kept that job two years, quit in May and am now pursuing my entrepreneurial dream full-time."
Josh and his associates are free-floating office sharing around New York as part of loosecubes.com in which startups are allowed to book free space at large companies.
"It's significantly cheaper and awesome to be surrounded by other creative people because it boosts productivity. What's truly amazing is what it takes to start a business now is a fraction of what it was five years ago."
When not working on computer programming and pushing doUdeal out to market, Josh volunteers at Jewish Heart for Africa, a non-profit that brings sustainable Israeli technology to rural villages in Africa, such as water-pumps and solar panels.
He's taking advantage of the fun part of New York, too, going out with his friends at least once a week to enjoy the "awesome nightlife," and says if you put yourself out there, it's easy to meet new people.
"It's New York! Everyone is doing something amazing and super-ambitious."
Remembering Trinity days, Josh names Phi Sig as a really great experience - he loved being Greek. He worked at the campus newspaper all four years and was the Trinitonian editor as a senior.
"I also tried to get out of the Trinity bubble since I was born and raised in San Antonio and had friends at other nearby universities," says Josh.
"My professors were awesome. Richard Butler, department of economics, was my advisor and always very energetic. He gave me an obsession for economics and the environment and how they were intertwined."
"Bladimir Ruiz, department of modern languages and literatures, in Spanish was my advisor in languages. He was always super-helpful and a really great teacher."
"Finally, Jacob Gray '90 was the one behind the class project. I'm certainly glad I took the class!
You may contact Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story posted: November 2012