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Drexel student-founded company GoPuff steps up to help students amid Covid-19 | The Triangle
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Drexel student-founded company GoPuff steps up to help students amid Covid-19

Photograph courtesy of GoPuff.

In the wake of the novel coronavirus and the resulting hardships which have ensued, the Drexel-founded company GoPuff has announced a new partnership. This program will offer students living in Drexel’s American Campus Communities buildings (including The Summit, University Crossings and Chestnut Square) free delivery on all of their products. In addition to Drexel, the program will be launching at ACC buildings on other local campuses, such as Temple and the University of Pennsylvania.

GoPuff is a mobile convenience storeconceived by then-business students Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola during their freshman year at Drexel in 2013. Ilishayev and Gola used their freshman year to plan their new business; by their sophomore year, they were delivering to students from the back of their car. GoPuff works through an app that acts as an online Wawa-like convenience store. Users place their orders and, within an hour, GoPuff delivers the goods.

Since its launch, GoPuff has continued to widen its scope in terms of areas served, product offerings and philanthropic efforts. In addition to operating at Philadelphia colleges and universities, GoPuff has extended its reach to over 40 total institutions of learning, both independently and with its new ACC deal.

While GoPuff originally only delivered food and basic toiletries, it has now extended its reach during the pandemic to supply COVID-related items, such as KN95 masks, home COVID-19 test kits and other over-the-counter medical items. Over the past year, the GoPuff founders have made several donations to Drexel institutions, such as a scholarship to the Close School of Entrepreneurship and a new Torah for the Drexel Chabad.

While the pandemic spelled economic ruin for many companies, GoPuff used it as an opportunity for expansion, even before the ACC deal.

“As a college student, it’s so helpful to be able to get food and other items delivered straight to my apartment,” Drexel student Gabrielle Boskin, who recently discovered GoPuff, said. “I wish I used this at the start of the pandemic. It’s a game changer.”

For its part, ACC is thrilled by the new deal, which it has folded into its “Be safe. Be smart. Do your part.” program in its buildings with GoPuff’s contact-free delivery options.