Entrepreneur Profile : Adam Boyajian & Michael Parelli | Buses2
Independent’s Entrepreneur Profiles celebrate people out there changing the world every day through their ventures. We ask each entrepreneur a few questions to give us a little insight into their vision of the future, and their take on building a company.
This month, we feature Adam Boyajian and Michael Parelli. Their venture, Buses2, has the gameplan to get college students across the nation to and from off-campus events safely and in style.
What do they need from you, the community?
Adam & Michael are looking for undergraduate student leaders who have experience with rallying interest, organizing logistics, and are interested in bringing Buses2 to their campus.
If this sounds like you, or a friend, get in touch with Adam at ’Adam-at-Buses2-dot com.’ Stay tuned to hear updates about Adam & Michael and their work with Buses2 as they become available.
Questions for Adam & Michael
Q: What Does Your Company Do?
A: There are countless events that college students want to attend, but they either don’t have a car, don’t want to drive, or don’t want to deal with organizing transportation. Buses2™ simplifies bus transportation for college students traveling to off-campus locations. The platform, Buses2.com, is the first ever full-service online and mobile technology for creating, promoting, coordinating, and selling tickets for on-demand bus trips. Both Buses2 Campus Teams and individual students across the country rely on the system to facilitate their bus trips with anywhere from 50 to 1,500+ students. Buses2 is “The Wheel Deal.”
A: At the start of our Senior year (Fall 2011). Why? Because we wanted to get ourselves a ride from UConn to Hartford. Just so happens 800 other kids wanted a ride too. But also because we recognized that transportation is a recurring problem for college students across the nation – whether you’re a freshman or a senior, transportation to off-campus locations is a daily problem.
Q: What are Your Funding Sources?
A: We have funded our previous business ventures and have been profitable, debt-free, and cash-flow positive since day one. We’ve had an absolute hit T-shirt business that got off of the ground quickly and was even featured in Sports Illustrated, followed by a wristband business that saw similar success. In the future, when appropriate, we are open to the idea of outside funding to accelerate Buses2.
Q: What have the Top 3 Challenges Been in Your Start-up Process?
A: The first challenge is deciding what schools should get Buses2 first. There are thousands of schools that could use our service, and we are identifying the ones to target first. We’re focusing on rural schools, with over 5,000 students. If the school is lacking a close, and convenient travel option, or already uses buses to get students off of camus, then we see a strong need, and plan to learn more about that paticular school – the students, and the community. It’s tough to choose the jackpots, only time will tell!
The second challenge is creating barriers to entry. As the first mover, it is imperative to prevent competition by making strategic moves during out initial roll-out. In our business especially, it is crucial to our long term success as the leading provider of on-demand bus transportation for college students.
And the last challenge? We take students to sell-out shows, but we haven’t gone to one yet. We still haven’t gone to an event ourselves… we want to see what all the buzz is about. It’s about that time.
Q: Define Entrepreneur
A: All bite, no bark. …Barking is easy, you can talk big and tough… but until you bite, it’s all fluff.
Q: Read any Good Books Lately?
A: “The 4 –Hour Workweek”, by Timothy Feriss. It’s an absolute must read, packed with everything you need to know to take control of your future
Q: What is Your Advice for an Entrepreneur Starting Out?
A: You gotta want it, you really gotta want it. You also need to surround yourself with mentors. People who have been there, and understand what it will take for you to get there. These individuals can see around corners that you are blind to. They will challenge your assumptions and this is a critical piece of the startup process. Also- take the leap, push the envelope, and get comfortable being extremely uncomfortable. Whoever said life begins at the edge of your comfort zone… NAILED IT
Q: What is your Favorite Entrepreneurship Quote?
A: ”Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson