In May of 2015, two frat brothers had an idea—and no, it wasn’t your typical frat nonsense. Anthony Tapias and Hamza Syed noticed a problem within their fraternity GroupMe, everyone always had a need and no way to solve it. “We noticed that college students going to school would ask in our GroupMe ‘Can we borrow a calculator’ or ‘Can I borrow a charger' and that was a problem,” said Tapias. So these two Financial Economics majors would enter a journey of a lifetime to solve that problem.
TruNeed is a combination of YikYak, Venmo, and Craigslist. It allows users to post their needs instantly, so other users of the app have the opportunity provide that need. For example, if you’re in need of a phone charger, you can post on the app that you need a phone charge, and other users can message you to offer up their unused charger. But how can you be so sure you’ll get your stuff back? When someone borrows your charger, you charge them a safety deposit, which goes into a system called Stripe. Stripe holds the deposit until the owner of the charger refunds the deposit. When this is done, Stripe returns the deposit to the borrower of the charger. Pretty cool, eh? I sure think so.
When I was meeting with Anthony Tapias to discuss the app, I actually downloaded it and he gave me a little tour. It’s extremely user-friendly, the layout is super self-explanatory, and it takes seconds to upload your needs and even the things you have to offer. The most interesting part, you can see what people are posting all over the world. So what’s not to love about it, especially since we are time pressured college kids?
So why do you need TruNeed? Well for one, we all have those days where things just aren’t working out for us. You wake up and hour late and have to leave home in your pajamas, completely forgetting the 400 things you need just to make it through one class. Great start to the day. That’s where TruNeed comes in. When you finally get to campus and realize that you left your calculator at home and have a test, you can simply stick that on the app. Or maybe you forgot your school ID which also acts as your source of food money, you can stick that on the app. Secondly, we’re broke college kids. We all have something that we can offer up, but sometimes we just don’t know how to get it out there. Hello TruNeed! You can easily post that you can tutor in Organic Chemistry, or have 7 extra phone chargers to lend, and make a couple bucks faster than a good stripper. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty awesome.
Finally, why you need TruNeed, is because you have the amazing opportunity to support two college kids with a dream, and the ambition to follow that dream. After a year and a half of development, lawyers, and personal investment of a couple thousand dollars, they deserve as much support as they can get. Also, did I mention that neither of the founders had any experience in Computer Science? So two guys with zero experience in the field that was needed to develop this thing, developed this thing. Super awesome. Furthermore, I spent a solid half hour with Anthony. He is the most down to earth frat brother that I have ever met in my entire college career. That, and just seeing the excitement and love for his product was the utmost inspiring thing I’ve seen in a long time.
TruNeed was released on September 1st, 2016. As of now, they have a couple hundred downloads, 30,000 followers on Facebook, and plans to grow bigger. “We want to be Uber, but bigger” is what Anthony told me. So, broke and needy college kids, let's help them succeed even more than they already have.
P.S.- I have nothing against frat brothers, I think they’re all hilarious. Picking on them is super fun though.