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Tobevy, a Start Up from the College.

A new idea coming from one of our network’s Halls of Residence, Collegio Einaudi in Turin.Paolo and Antonio a friendship, and a great idea arose in the University College. Interview.

1. We are very happy to meet Paolo. He is a ’start upper’, but not only. He comes from the ‘Einaudi’ College in Turin and the idea of a new company, comes exactly from the friendships and collaborations grown in his Hall of Residence. How did it go, Paolo? What is your story?

When I moved to Turin to study Engineering and Management at Politecnico, I was living in San Paolo Einaudi College. I lived there for four years – long enough to recognize the needs and wills of most of the students occupying the college hall. Thus, I realized quite soon that people were too busy or lazy to get drinks and water from the shops outside, giving me the opportunity to group all their order in one in order to get a discount from the supplier I was buying the drinks from. It was sort of like shopping from a wholesaler: instead of only four, I was buying 200 crates of water. In this way, my friend and colleague Antonio D’Amore and I came up with the idea of expanding the concept of economies of scale and laid down the first draft of our project about two years ago. Whilst I am in charge of the executive and financial side of the startup, Antonio is mostly working on the IT and programming side.

2. What are the most important skills you got at University and how the College helped you to develop, or integrate those skills?

University has provided me with the right methodology to face complex problems, which is to split them into smaller ones and solve them one at the time. But my College was a very formative and awesome experience. The positive competition and energetic environment has always pushed me to never give up and aim to get better at what I was doing every day. In my College I met not only good buddies for studying and hanging out but also for realizing my goals. We have supported and pushed each other up just like it happens in big families.

3. What is Tobevy and how does it work?

Tobevy is a new generation marketplace for water and other beverages, through which every order is aggregated according to the area it is placed in. In this way, multiple demands are brought together and prices drop, as the price of a single product is given by the quantity requested in the same geographical area. Tobevy is not the actual wholesaler, but it provides the service through a partner that sells and delivers the products through our brand. Thus, since our fixed-costs are kept relatively low, the potential for expansion in other cities is very high and feasible. Our mission is that of helping our clients to save time and money: in only one minute you could potentially place an order for crates of water as well as any other beverage – over 200 types – and receive it at home at the chosen time slot. The service targets most of those students who live at a term address and therefore do not own cars to carry heavy beverages from the shop. Using aggregated demand, we want to create a delivery service that not only is efficient but it also has a low environmental impact. Our motto is “Let’s save. Together.”

4. How did you find the money and the energies to boost such a new business?

Tobevy was partly financed through my own savings and then also through the private investments of people who fell for the idea and its development. And well, regarding the energies, they all come from the strong will of making a dream come true.

5. How to fill the gap today of the employability? For you, how is it possible to easily arrive from University to the job world?

We are currently living in an era of big social changes, where young people have the opportunity to seize these challenges through innovation. As the famous Italian entrepreneur Brunello Cucinelli says, “Innovation is our routine, young people are our best investment, and the culture is our future.” The startups and the IT world are becoming increasingly crucial when it comes to employability, as almost anything could be done by a machine. Young people must combine university studies with work and social experiences, which allow them to slide smoothly into the working world with a broader and more complete culture.

5. What are the things you will bring with you forever from the Collegiate Life?

The importance and meaningfulness of sharing with friends both hard work and fun jokes until 5am.