Two graduates of the University of Maryland are back at Maryland sports games — but this time, instead of sitting in the stands, they’re offering rechargeable power banks that students can rent to charge their phones.
The power banks are from JUUCE, a company founded by David Greenfield, who graduated in 2020 with a degree in finance and supply chain management, and Pouya Susanabadi, who graduated in 2019 with a dual degree in physiology and neurobiology and psychology.
Greenfield and Susanabadi came up with the idea for rechargeable power banks in December 2021, when they were on a trip where the piercing cold drained the battery from their phones.
“On our drive back from New York City, we kept thinking, ‘How do we solve this issue?’” Susanabadi said. “We started getting ideas and then as soon as we got home, we started working on it.”
In the span of six months, the alumni devised a business plan, created the product and then started reaching out to this University.
Humberto Coronado, a lecturer at this university who specializes in supply chain management, was Greenfield’s first point of contact when he was looking for advice on how to launch a business and make connections across the university.
“[Greenfield] is perhaps the most intellectually curious individual I’ve ever met,” Coronado said. “The depth and breadth of ideas and his critical thinking, it’s way above the average.”
When Greenfield introduced JUUCE to Coronado, the two worked together to formulate business plans. Coronado’s assistance was mainly centered on the big picture of the company, he said.
One connection led to another, and this university’s athletics venues soon caught wind of JUUCE.
“Maryland athletics pointed us over to the multimedia rights holders, Maryland Sports Properties, and they were able to bring us in and say, ‘Hey, you guys have a great product. Let’s work together,’” Greenfield said.
The banks hold roughly 2.5 iPhones’ worth of charge and are packaged in a thin green and black canister. Users can pay for the power banks through an app, which charges $1 to rent the banks for 10 minutes and $30 to buy them. JUUCE also recently introduced wireless charging.
Augustus Sam, this university’s athletics department’s information technology director, oversees the technology in all the university’s stadiums and is a supporter of JUUCE’s founders.
“I feel like we should always be looking to help young Maryland alum and entrepreneurs in all aspects,” Sam said. “They’re young, they’re hungry, so it’s always good.”
Greenfield and Susanabadi said that they’re excited to partner with the school and implement the feedback they’ve received from students. Greenfield said JUUCE has sold out of banks on many occasions, and so he is excited to create more stations around the campus.
“We’re excited that UMD students and our partners are excited about it,” Greenfield said. “The need, the demand and the interest in this product is definitely there and we’re excited to start scaling it to other places where it’s needed.”