After success at “Shark Tank” high schoolers team up to launch safe delivery start up
Nathalie Schickendantz | Staff Writer
Don’t let their age fool you. These young businessmen want their competitors to know that they’re not going to let their age stop them from entering the business world.
Mason High School junior Juan Carlos Gaudiano and freshman Pranav Yenugu are in the process of developing their company SafeDeliv.
SafeDeliv is a small device accompanied with an app, making mail and package delivery safer.
Gaudiano and Yenugu pitched ‘SafeDeliv’ on November 18 at the University of Cincinnati’s LAUNCH shark tank competition. After winning first place and a 1,000 dollar prize, the students continued their business journey by creating a company. The business startup program at the UC is highly competitive, electing only students with high academic achievement and leadership ability.
After nine weeks of preparation, Gaudiano and Yenugu finalized their winning pitch. Everything taught by the mentors has to be applied by the individuals in their shark tank pitch.
The pitch was held in a full-packed room with investors listening in on the the student’s business plan. The program is small and personal, encouraging collaboration in an effort to develop a business plan. Yenugu enjoyed the responsive aspect of the program with direct access to Dr. Dalziel, the professor.
“How it was usually structured is he would talk about something, ask questions, make it interactive and then at the end we would branch off into our own groups and work on what we discussed,” Yenugu said. “The professor would come around and provide each group with contacts and how to reach out and look over pitches.”
According to UC, the launch program is one of the most prestigious programs and demands a lot from the individuals admitted. After learning the key steps of entrepreneurship, the program expects students to grow in communication skills and interact with leaders from companies in Cincinnati.
Yenugu said the program not only teaches the basics of forming a start-up but simulates what was learned.
“He also had guests come in and introduced us to leaders from big companies in the area,” Yenugu said. “We spoke about accelerators which are programs that help with funding and moving your progress forward.”
After receiving first place, Gaudiano and Yenugu decided to take the idea another step forward.
The two students worked with lawyers designated to form company startups. Gaudiano and Yenugu were at a disadvantage being high school students, and thus, not having yet stepped into the business world; however, this did not stop their company from becoming a reality.
They sought out help from lawyers to help with financials and legal issues. Gaudiano said after speaking to a lot of people the idea was liked and that sparked our pursuance of it.
“We went to a lawyer who’s in charge of helping startups in Cincinnati, and he basically helped us make our company an LLC, which is basically making the company legal in the states,” Gaudiano said. “We are currently working with patent lawyers to help us patent our idea.”
The two young men decided to disregard age and create a business whilst continuing to work with UC along college students.
The program pushed the students to create a product that would benefit society Quan said after hearing positive feedback the product has prospect and therefore should be pursued.
“SafeDelivi focuses more on a safety and notification aspect of how you receive your mail and packages,” Gaudiano said. “It adds safety to whatever is being delivered to your house, whether that be important tax information, college letters, or small packages from Amazon.”