Most Trinity students by now are well aware of the popular site DoUDeal.com, an online marketplace for selling and buying between college students, but most people don’t realize the big places these entrepreneurs are headed with their innovative idea.
DoUDeal.com was officially launched on Aug. 16, 2011, and has since rapidly expanded. Students have Trinity alumni Josh Currie (‘10), economics and Spanish, and Patrick Cunagin (’11), accounting, to thank for the simple and easy-to-use online marketplace. What began as a project for a class during Currie’s senior year is now an up-and-running business with ongoing potential.
“We were basically tasked with coming up with a company that solved real problems that we were experiencing,” Currie said.
For Currie and the other participants in the class who were also seniors, that problem was finding a safe and convenient way to buy or sell anything from textbooks to furniture. It’s a problem all college students face no matter what year they are.
“One of the most difficult aspects of this whole thing has really been keeping our heads up and constantly staying persistent and remembering why we do this. We are very passionate about the idea of simplified college commerce,” Currie said.
The partners are also challenged daily by the transition from the business side of things to the technology side of things. They have to learn how to code and how to design and interact with users online.
“Technically I would say one of the hardest experiences has really just been learning all of these things from scratch,” Currie said.
Taylor Stratton (’14), finance, used DoUDeal.com to sell his old graphing calculator.
“I think it was easier than Craigslist or eBay,” Stratton said.
Stratton heard about the new site from one of the founders with whom he was good friends. Because it is directed specifically to other college students in the same area, Stratton says that it is of huge value to students and would definitely recommend it to a friend.
Cunagin says that one of the most challenging parts is bringing together all of these different people with varying skills and different aspects of the job into something that fits like a giant jig-saw puzzle.
Cunagin was a student brand manager for Redbull at Trinity and occasionally worked with Currie around campus. He was brought onto the team because of the experience he gained in doing so.
“In the very beginning the idea was to make it easy for students on campus to buy and sell with one another,” Currie said. “We wanted to make it incredibly simple to interact with nearby students.”
The site is now expanding to include University of the Incarnate Word, St. Mary’s, Our Lady of the Lake University and University of Texas at San Antonio.
“When you’re looking for a textbook or TV or used bike, in terms of location, there’s really no difference between
Trinity and Incarnate Word,” Currie said. “We want to be able to connect those students. There’s nothing out there right now trying to make it easy to buy and sell amongst campuses.”
They hope to continue expanding to the rest of San Antonio, San Marcos, and Austin within the coming year.
It has been a roller coaster so far, full of many obstacles. They are constantly surprised by how difficult or easy some parts of the business are.
“As members of the team, as recent college grads and as people that know everything about the product, it’s really easy for us to see the value and believe in it and understand why it would be so valuable to students,” Cunagin said.
The obstacle there is convincing other people how important it is for college students to have a safe and convenient way to buy and sell the things that they need.
“We’ve experienced the problem we’re solving as college students, so we definitely understand the plight that exists,” Cunagin said.
The partners really enjoy hearing feedback from the users of DoUDeal.com. They hope they’re efficiently solving the problem and creating a simplified college commerce experience, and they would love to hear where they can improve. Visit them at DoUDeal.com, set up an account, buy or sell something and let them know what you think.