It was a normal day for Amaan Udhas, DMSB’16, in his Northeastern dorm room, talking to a frustrated friend trying to sell her college apartment furniture. After rattling off less-than-ideal options, and joking that, “You can set a radius to find someone to date, but not to buy and sell things,” Udhas had a moment of entrepreneurial inspiration.
Hours later he conceptualized Orbit Marketplace, a people-centric local buying and selling app that now has more than 2,000 users after just four months on the iOS app store. The creator credits the app’s popularity to its engaging platform and familiar social media functionality.
“Orbit is the go-to app for buying, selling, and apartment-renting locally,” says Udhas, who sought to develop a user-friendly and local platform. Simply set an “orbit” and find buyers or sellers in your selected radius. Navigate further using hashtags or username search.
Individuals who can’t find what they’re looking for immediately can identify a desired item and price range and receive an alert when an item matching their specifications becomes available.
“Orbit has and will continue to make the lives of people in cities significantly easier,” says Udhas.
The app also gives small businesses a platform to reach local consumers and build followings through digital storefronts.
Orbit Marketplace headquarters, located in Boston, a city Udhas describes as “the east coast hub for startups,” is furnished entirely with Orbit-purchased goods.
Udhas is now focused on expansion and incorporating user-feedback. He currently dedicates his full attention to Orbit Marketplace development through a co-op under the guidance of Dan Gregory, co-director of the Northeastern University Center for Entrepreneurship Education.
“It’s nice to be able to form an unconventional academic cycle,” says Udhas. “Everyone has a different track they follow, you can build your own path toward graduation.”
Taking advantage of Northeastern’s expansive entrepreneurial ecosystem, Udhas has also built valuable advising relationships through the university’s McCarthy(s) Venture Mentoring Network (VMN). D’Amore-McKim alumnus Amin Karimpour, Bose Corp. PLM application business system analyst, and Ryan MacInnis, Twitter product marketing manager, both self-selected Udhas as their mentee after his pitch during a VMN lunch.
Armed with support, advice, and a growing network of Orbit Marketplace users, Udhas has big plans for the future. His secret to maintaining confidence and staying true to his vision? A brave rule he follows when facing doubt or obstacles: “Freak out for no longer than 15 minutes, then start thinking about solutions.”