Auburn Family

An Auburn University Alumni Success Story: Bellhops

Auburn University is no stranger to cultivating students that achieve success, and 2009 Auburn University graduates, Cameron Doody and Stephen Vlahos are great examples. Just two years after graduation, the Auburn University alumni created a successful startup company, Bellhops.

As supply chain management and marketing majors, fraternity brothers, and best friends, Doody and Vlahos identified the need for moving help and lifting labor on college campuses.

Beginning at Auburn University in 2011 as “The Dorm Movers,” a moving service for students, the new company mostly helped freshman move into residential housing. According to Doody, the company moved 230 students into the Auburn dorms its first year.

Today Bellhops is operating in 145 cities around the United States with over 8,000 student Bellhops. Since 2012, the company has extended its services to houses and apartments within 15 miles of a college campus. While college students now make up for less than 10 percent of Bellhops bookings, the company still operates on four basic principles that make moving easy; on-demand, honor code, trust, and communication.                     (Photo courtesy of Cameron Doody)

After four years, Doody and Vlahos have an extensive list of accomplishments, from being featured in Forbes to winning Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Innovation award; however their ambition for future success has not wavered.

(Photo courtesy of Google search)

“We are super focused on bringing Bellhops to every major city in the country,” said Doody. “Most people don't have a realistic solution for moving, which is why 75 percent of Americans move themselves. Bellhops is middle ground between begging friends to help and booking a 'moving company'.”

The company also has plans to create a new system for the company which will help not only the customers, but the movers. After the bellhops are hired they will create a profile similar to Facebook which will help the customers become familiar with their Bellhop, making the moving process more personal.

Although Doody and Vlahos have achieved tremendous success, Doody explains that it has not always been easy.

“Every day is a hardship when you're building a company, especially in the early days. Running a startup is like having to hop in the cockpit after your pilot dies; it's scary, there's a lot riding on you and only so much time to figure it out,” Doody said.

When asked what skills Doody attributes to his success he stated he has surrounds himself with people that are better than him, and offers advice for young Auburn students that are looking to start their own business.

“Just do it. You're never going to have all the answers. The risk/reward for starting a company in your early 20s is weighted so far toward reward that the risk is completely insignificant,” Doody said.

For more information about Bellhops or to book Bellhops visit http://getbellhops.com


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