Have you ever been in the library and wished that somebody would bring you coffee so you wouldn’t have to get up?
Senior Zach Sweedler has come up with a solution for this problem with his new app, Hustle.
Hustle is an app where you can make on-demand requests and have them completed by other students on your campus. You can also become a "hustler" and make money by performing the tasks and requests that are posted.
After verifying their student email, users can request food deliveries to be done by another student on campus, the “hustler."
Students can use the app to request anything they want, but Sweedler said there had been a trend among the things students wanted to request.
“The top three usages that people have been expressing for this tool are on-campus food delivery, laundry and item sales,” Sweedler said.
Currently, the app is focusing on on-campus food delivery services, but as Hustle grows, the app will release the technology to request laundry and item sales.
In addition to fulfilling student demands, Sweedler hoped the app would decrease the need for student jobs by allowing students to make money quickly without having to leave campus.
“We could provide college students with a technology that modernizes the way students make money,” Sweedler said.
Hustle doesn’t take any commission on the money that students earn from hustling. 100% of the money that the “hustlers” earn goes straight to an "Earnings Balance," and can be transferred to a debit card within minutes, according to the App Store.
Senior Shanna Gerlach used the app to deliver items from Everything Convenience to a user’s location and thinks Hustle is going to be very helpful to University of Richmond students.
“I think it’s a great concept and has a ton of potential," Gerlach said. "It was a really convenient and easy way to earn money while helping someone.”
Gerlach also believed that the app could eventually be expanded to include requests for artistic and creative purposes.
“As a calligraphy/hand lettering artist, I also see the potential of expanding it to include creating things for other people or other similar services,” she said.
The idea for Hustle started when Sweedler overheard another student asking a friend to get them coffee.
“I conceived Hustle when I was sitting in the library and I remember seeing somebody study at the table next to me," Sweedler said. "The person asked somebody sitting next to them, ‘Hey, I’m going to 8:15, can I get anything for you?’ And then I thought, ‘Wow. What if we can turn that into something?’”
This app is not the first project that the entrepreneur has worked on. During his sophomore year of high school, Sweedler joined an entrepreneur club at Avon Old Farms, an all-male boarding school in Connecticut. He and a few friends started a company called Nantucket Buckets, which sold bucket hats.
After selling his shares of the company during his senior year in high school, Sweedler found inspiration for another company, which he started in 2017. Zach Ryan, his clothing brand, partnered with the SpiderShop to sell one of his designs.
However, Sweedler is no longer in the fashion world and has found a new passion for technology.
“Before Hustle, I had been into fashion and started a couple of fashion companies, but my entrepreneurship minor has introduced me to problem-and-solution based companies," Sweedler said. "What got me into technology is the fact that I could fundamentally shift the way people live their day-to-day lives, and that excited me.”
Although he thought of the idea himself, Sweedler is not working on this project alone. Henry Pratt, a junior at the University of Rhode Island, is the co-founder and front-end engineer of Hustle. John Park, Sweedler’s high school roommate and a senior at Carnegie Mellon, is the lead engineer.
Park reunited with Sweedler to work on Hustle because he believed in the app and its potential, he said.
“When I looked at Hustle, I realized that it shared my same vision of creating peer-to-peer ecosystems to improve student dynamics on campus,” Park said.
Hustle currently has 200+ users on the UR campus, and its website advertises that it is searching for campus ambassadors who “suppor[t] grassroots marketing, events, partnerships, local PR, community research and content creation to grow awareness for Hustle.”
Sweedler said that the launch of the app on Sep. 20 had not been an official launch, but he had wanted to start at UR to gain feedback and hear how people respond to it.
In addition to UR, Hustle is currently available to students at Virginia Commonwealth University and High Point University. Ultimately, Sweedler hopes that the app will expand worldwide.
“If we put the technology into every student’s pocket on every college campus, eventually that will create private student-to-student relationships all over the country, and internationally as well," Sweedler said.
Contact lifestyle writer Kaitlin Edwardson at email@example.com.