One University of Michigan student is looking to pack your bags soon. Luggage Teleport Inc., a new student start-up, transports luggage for business travelers to airports and hotels in the San Francisco and Las Vegas areas. The start-up is set to launch at the International Consumer Electronics Showcase next week in Las Vegas.
Co-founders Max Yong and Benjamin Eu, an engineering junior, met while taking entrepreneurship courses at Stanford University last summer. Yong had previously faced issues with luggage transport because his flight arrival time was much earlier than his check-in time at his hotel. Yong had a meeting to attend, so the process of transporting his luggage and traveling to the meeting took an additional hour of his time. The two saw an opening in the market and founded Luggage Teleport Inc.
The start-up works to transport luggage for business travelers between airports to hotels as well as hotel to hotel in Las Vegas and San Francisco. Through a mobile app, users can arrange for a worker to pick up their luggage at a designated time. Two pieces of luggage cost $35, and additional items are $10 each.
The company will debut at CES to introduce itself to the consumer market. Last year, more than 184,000 people attended and 4,000 companies had exhibits at the showcase. Eu said he would use the opportunity to gauge consumer interests.
“We see it as an opportunity because these people traveled there…they bring stuff there and they want everything to be productive,” Eu said. “With 180,000 people coming, we are trying to watch out for interests of the market share.”
The start-up will also offer a 50 percent-off code to University of Michigan students and alumni for the first three months of usage.
Anne Perigo, associate director for the Zell Lurie Institute at the Ross School of Business, has advised Eu on his entrepreneurial journey since his first year at the University. She also mentored the development of Carrycott, another company Eu co-founded. Carrycott offers strollers designed to be easily carried with one hand and cooling technology to prevent children from being hot or uncomfortable while in the stroller.
In an email to The Daily, Perigo described her excitement about Eu’s new endeavor.
“Benjamin is a great role model to other entrepreneurially-minded students at Michigan,” Perigo wrote. “He is willing to put in the hard work necessary to be successful and smart enough to really listen (to potential customers, coaches, advisors, judges) to know when to pivot or move on to a different idea/venture. I look forward to seeing his success as a serial entrepreneur.”
While he anticipates difficulty attending school and managing his company, Eu remains optimistic about his ability to balance his time because of the way his and Yong's working style.
“I will mainly be managing the technological and back end side of the operations while my co-founder will be in the state managing the drivers and operations,” Eu said. “That’s helpful for us because we are able to connect with the developers and develop the product while staying in school.”
LSA freshman Kate Sherwin welcomes the idea of the company. While she is not a business traveler, she resides out of state and would find the service helpful for moving in and out of campus.
“I think that a lot of people coming off airports don’t really want to deal with a lot of luggage,” Sherwin said. “Especially for me when I was moving into school. My family had to carry four or five suitcases…especially for students, it’s a great product and a great company.”