About two years ago, Oakland University student and Business Administration major Connor Darrow was helping a relative downsize while in the process of having an estate sale. Wanting to quickly liquidate the furniture, he offered to deliver items to customers for the estate sale company with his family pick-up truck.
“The estate sale companies told us that many customers lack the proper vehicle and man-power to transport large goods, so they are often forced to pass on items they wish to purchase,” Darrow said.
With that in mind, Darrow created Herculeze Technologies, Inc. – a Rochester-based startup that connects customers who need help transporting household goods such as furniture and other large items with local pickup truck owners who are willing to help deliver items that customers are unable to transport on their own.
The company operates a unique marketplace model, which allows customers to freely post their delivery requests on the Herculeze website. Drivers can then respond to customer posts with quotes (bids) to get their items delivered, giving customers the opportunity to either accept the quote or wait for other providers on the network to offer competitive bids.
“Think of it as the Uberization of delivery,” Darrow said. “It’s Uber-like, but for stuff.”
According to Darrow, the Herculeze team is comprised of students from universities across the state of Michigan, including Oakland University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University.
“It’s a student-operated company,” said Ryan Tsivitse, an MSU student who also helps manage the company’s business operations.
In 2017, the Herculeze team was part of Wayne State University’s TechTown DTX accelerator program, and in May of 2018 the company and an expanded team of interns joined Oakland University’s business accelerator, OU INC, where they helped launch the Herculeze marketplace platform.
“We all have really enjoyed working at OU INC, where we have an environment that allows us to collaborate with each other every day,” Tsivitse said.
According to Tsivitse, the company currently provided delivery service in the Southeast Michigan area, but is looking to expand into other areas, as well.
“Our team is energized by the traction Herculeze has received since launching,” Tsivitse said.
For more information about Herculeze Technologies, Inc., visit herculeze.com. To learn more about OU INC, visit oakland.edu/ouinc.
About OU INC
OU INC is a Smartzone Business Incubator and Innovation Center, in collaboration with the City of Rochester Hills, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and strategic industry partners. With a focus on the energy, medical device, and information technology sectors, OU INC provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions for developing business ventures and accelerating ideas to market. OU INC is a designated Soft Landing Facility through the International Business Association for international companies.