Cambridge, Massachusetts (PRWEB) September 24, 2012
Today non-traditional vending start-up Momba debuted the first of its unique machines at Quincy House, one of Harvard University’s 12 undergraduate upperclassman dormitories. The Massachusetts-based company will soon launch its second machine at Harvard’s Weld Hall, a freshman dormitory in Harvard Yard.
Momba’s nontraditional, customized vending machines give students 24/7 access to dorm essentials—such as name-brand toiletries, laundry detergent and phone chargers—in the safety and convenience of their dorms. Momba’s machines will accept payment by credit and debit cards, cash, and university-specific cashless currencies tied to schools’ student identification cards.
“Our mission is to help improve students’ quality of life and make education more accessible,” said Momba founder and CEO Steven Duque, a Harvard College ‘09 graduate. Beyond vending dorm essentials, Momba pledges no less than 10 percent of its profits to host schools’ financial aid programs and supports entrepreneurship among college students with the Momba Student Entrepreneur Program.
“We aim to empower student entrepreneurs to gain hands-on business experience, while making a positive impact on their communities and earning performance-based compensation for their efforts,” said Duque.
“For me, spreading the power of entrepreneurship to students is Momba’s most meaningful added value to a campus,” said Momba Student Entrepreneur and Boston College sophomore Michael Allen. “Working with Momba has empowered me to spread the message of student entrepreneurship, a duty I believe is imperative to the success of my generation. The more entrepreneurs we enable, the more great ideas out there from which we all benefit.”
Momba Student Entrepreneur and Boston University sophomore Laura Monti said, “Momba is giving me a chance to help grow a business with a meaningful mission. I’ve already learned so much about the pieces that make up a company and how they come together. As a college student and young entrepreneur, I’m not only excited to contribute to the success of a cool social venture, but I’m also excited for the arrival of an easy way to help me avoid long trips to CVS.”
The need for Momba machines became evident after conducting a nationwide survey among 2,265 college-aged respondents from 384 schools in July of 2012, said Duque. Ninety-one percent of Momba’s survey respondents expressed a need for dorm essentials after nearby stores were closed, even though 52 percent go or went to colleges in urban settings and 25 percent go or went to schools on suburban campuses. Respondents also indicated that they were three times as likely to purchase dorm essentials from a vending machine than a nearby convenience store, if given the option.
Momba is currently focusing on spreading its mission and machines across universities in the Northeast before moving southward and westward, said Duque.
Momba's primary mission is to give students the things they need where they live, whenever they need them. Momba gives back no less than 10% of its profits to host schools' financial aid programs, and offers student social entrepreneurs opportunities to make good money while making a positive impact on their immediate communities.