Kent State seniors Abu Konteh Jr. and Paris Johns are assisting students and faculty members through their new business, Ozi.
Ozi is a multipurpose concierge service that assists with grocery shopping, personal errands and food delivery 24 hours a day.
“It makes me confident because we invested in ourselves, ” said Konteh, a senior marketing major.
The business started last year through LaunchNET, an on-campus entrepreneurial program that helps students advance business ideas.
“We wanted to be owners — to create opportunities and not work for someone else,” said Johns, a senior accounting major.
Konteh and Johns pitched Ozi last year. They wanted to create a service that could benefit students or faculty members on a college campus as well as the residents in the city of Kent.
Konteh and Johns both said Ozi in Hebrew means strong, which helped the two decide on an acronym for the company. Over for an “O”, zealous for the “Z”, and innovators for the “I”.
“Overzealous innovators,” they often say.
They created the business with a common goal: helping college students live a better lifestyle. Both Konteh and Johns didn’t have cars as college students and understand how difficult it was to get groceries or other supplies.
The two mentioned how imperfect they were and how much they pushed themselves to keep working. Making prices cheaper than competitors, the two wanted everything to be easier toward potential customers.
With support from their family, friends and faculty at Kent State, it led Konteh and Johns to blast off with their idea of a multipurpose errand service specified to a college campus.
LaunchNET calls the duo dynamic and helpful while adviser Lynn Buchinsky mentions the guys as “a band aid for students.”
“I initially saw passion, excitement, enthusiasm,” Buchinsky said. “They seem to work well as a team.”
Konteh and Johns said you’re supposed to work your hardest and be focused as they explained their weekly goals and motivations to operating their service for the campus.
“One of our biggest motivations was the doubt from others,” Konteh said. “It made us read more, study more and grow.”
Bouncing ideas off each other with laughter, the two genuinely respect and like each other enough to build a small business that will grow across campus to help the university with its everyday needs.
“When they say something,” Buchinsky said. “They’re going to do it.”
Ozi provides discounts that can be applied to students, elders and veterans, as well as merchandise that customers can purchase to help support Ozi as a company.
Soon, the two will create an app for Ozi to help simplify the errand process for its customers on campus.
But the two have bigger plans.
“Ozi will never die,” Konteh said. “Our goal is to have Ozi all around the world.”
Quaylyn Hairston is the entertainment reporter. Contact her at [email protected]