Beta.MN/ Byte is a series underwritten by Bust Out Solutions and published in collaboration with Beta.MN for the early-stage founders between idea and execution.
What is the name of the company and/or product?
What distinct problem does this solve for who and how does this create value for them?
QuickCare offers cold and flu kits that contain a wide array of cold remedies, from fever and pain relievers to chicken soup and tea. Colds and flus are particularly hard on college students because they lack both transportation and a large medicine chest for when they get sick. The Quickcare kit will make someone feel special, akin to flowers, but with the added bonus that the products actually work. In the end, we aim to flip the experience of getting a cold or flu from negative and isolating, to an experience where others can quickly and effectively show love and support.
How did you come up with the idea / what was your motivation for starting?
In February of 2017, our co-founders Isaac, Daniel, and Jake were all sick with the flu and couldn’t find relief. We tried the campuses’ health and wellness center for over a week to no avail. Without a medicine cabinet full of supplies and a lack of ability to get out of bed, we suffered. Friends wanted to help, but they were busy and lacked the proper supplies. Parents, too, wanted to help, but anything they tried to send would take several days to arrive. QuickCare kits and delivery are our solution, crafted through hundreds of conversations, surveys, and interviews with college students and their parents.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
Our website, quickcarekits.com, launched July 14th. We’ve fulfilled online orders this week, and plan to sell on several Minnesota campuses during orientation this August. Delivery will be integrated in the Fall in time for cold and flu season.
Who is on the team?
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies is used?
We will use SMS notifications to communicate with customers. SMS offers an easy and widely used messaging platform to communicate drop off times and eventually offer ordering options that would be as simple as typing in “I’m sick.” As we increase delivery volume, geolocation will help optimize delivery efficiency. Eventually we hope kits will be inventoried in campus hubs and made available to students immediately, but right now we’ll settle for a few hours.
Who is the customer and what is your revenue model?
The customers are college students and their parents. We have two distinct revenue channels, selling directly to the consumer and selling to a customer that has it sent to the user. We also plan to partner with companies who will want to access our customer base as we grow.
What is the size/scope of your market and how will you scale?
The cold relief industry is worth around $10 Billion dollars annually in the US. We plan to start on Twin Cities college campuses and expand through our peer connections on other college campuses. Establishing a foothold on college campuses is our initial priority, however eventually we would like to market this to a wider audience.
What is your greatest strength?
We’re driven, hardworking, and enthusiastic about our company. Jake has experience working in a food delivery startup, so we believe we understand the space. Most importantly, the Twin Cities area is the perfect market for QuickCare. Minneapolis and Saint Paul colleges have over 100,000 students, and a brutal cold and flu season that lasts much of the school year. We couldn’t design a better market for QuickCare if we tried.
What is your biggest weakness?
This is our first startup, so we’re learning as we go. As 20-year old college students, we would not have a clear direction if not for all the help around us. Our startup incubator, MacStartups, has put us in touch with great people who are eager to help. Our mentor from Target has worked very closely with us, and has provided crucial advice throughout the process. Her experience from working with TechStars has been immensely valuable for us.
What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?
Connections. Right now, we would like to develop a relationship with companies that make the products that go into our box. Besides just simplifying our supply chain, it would help ensure the best products continue going into our box for a good price.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We’ve sold and fulfilled our first round of orders and have been working nonstop to perfect our kits before the school year. We need people to check out our website and give us feedback to make QuickCare the best it can be this school year!