John Zinno and Aaron Hoffman realized that one single idea can change your future entirely. On a cold November night in 2013, the two were on their way back from Shively after picking up food for a friend. After picking up the food they thought to themselves, people would pay for that kind of service. At the time they named their business Campus Delivery, though later it was changed to be known as DeliverTHAT. With neither of them being business majors, they needed a way to get their business out on the market for consumers. After creating Twitter and Facebook accounts, they quickly gained a following around campus. DeliverTHAT attracted the attention of various prominent individuals, one of which included Ryan Lombardi, Former Vice President of Student Affairs. He advocated for the group and really helped make a name for their business. After changing their majors in their junior year, they turned to the Center for Entrepreneurship. With help from Dr. Luke Pittaway, Executive Director for the Center for Entrepreneurship, Zinno gained a certificate of Entrepreneurship and many other important skills. He also took Management 3735, which is an independent study course where he was able to negotiate with his Professor and focus all of his time towards being an entrepreneur and bettering his business. Not only did Zinno gain new information, he was also linked with various groups that focus on entrepreneurship. One of these groups includes our partner TechGROWTH Ohio.
After all of the endorsement and marketing, DeliverTHAT has grown tremendously. Now they plan on expanding and offering their services to multiple colleges, which include: Ohio University, Kent State University, Miami University (Ohio), University of Michigan, and Michigan State University. They also now hold various philanthropy events around these campuses. These events include, basketball tournaments, sponsorship events, or even a social gathering. As a way of giving back to the community, all of the proceeds for these events are given to various charity groups. The charity group that it is given to is decided by the intern that hosted the events. Each semester they hire many students, some of which become drivers, while the others become interns. Although the internships are unpaid they do teach students valuable skills that could help them throughout their college journey.
Zinno talked a little more about their internship program, “We really are just asking our interns to host these philanthropy events and promote them through social media. It really helps students develop a presence on campus.” Zinno also felt like he could give some good tips to upcoming entrepreneurs. He said “The one that I’ve always heard, the one I really advocate for is to just go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? You would end up right back in the same place you started. Then you can try and try again.”
DeliverTHAT started as a delivery service where the drivers had to run around campus on foot delivering meals to people. Now they’ve grown into a business that offers their services to multiple colleges and gives back to the community that originally helped them. So, if you’re an upcoming entrepreneur or just simply have an idea you’re too afraid to try, just like Zinno said, “Just go for it, what’s the worst that could happen?”