Meet Joe Khoury: The UMass junior who started his own company
iRollie makes smoking on the go as easy as having a phone
UMass Student entrepreneur, and junior BDIC major, Joe Khoury is on the fast track to success with the start up of his very own product and company: iRollie.
iRollie is the first ever rolling tray phone case that fits in your pocket.
The idea sprouted from a day surfing at the beach as one of Joe’s friends was rolling a cigarette on the back of his phone and kept losing all his tobacco.
At the time, Joe was interning at the world’s largest startup accelerator, Mass Challenge in Boston, where they had a 3D printer. “I taught myself Google Sketchup, a 3D printing program,” said Joe, “and I began prototyping.”
With the help his childhood friend turned business partner, Luke Shepter, iRollie was incorporated this past summer in August 2015, nearly a year after the idea was born. Luke agreed that against all odds, working with friends is a good time and can be very productive.
“It’s all about managing and balancing your priorities,” said Luke. Each partner has a defined role, which Luke says gives them fluidity that is “necessary and important.”
“A lot of sales have shifted to retail shops,” says Joe, “which is nice that we are able to move more products to then be in front of the exact demographic we want to reach.”
iRollie is already being sold in over a dozen locations, from coast to coast.
iRollie was recently one of the products featured in the industry premium High Times Cannabis Cup VIP package – their greatest accomplishment to date.
Primarily, the majority of iRollie sales come from California, Florida, the Boston area and New York. “We even get at least one European sale a month, which is really cool,” Joe said.
Joe has started to address the college crowd outside of UMass by lining up campus reps at both UVM and UNH, who are responsible for promoting the product and are able to earn a 10% commission on each case sold.
“They can grow to holding their own events, like a club night we’re having here at UMass for iRollie in March.”
Joe hopes to expand iRollie specifically to UC Boulder, all of California, Washington, and the University of Oregon.
Just as you would think, Joe confirms that it is in fact difficult being a student and an entrepreneur – however that shouldn’t discourage you.
“My best advice is to stop waiting for the time to be right, or the money to be there – everything is made by doing. Opportunity doesn’t present itself.
“I’m driven by the nightmare of leading a monotonous life, and the passion of being able to do what I find fun.”
You can check out the iRollie blog which exists to provide a “one stop source for informative, interesting, and funny entertainment for the millennial smoking demographic,” as well as the Faceboook page, website and Instagram.
I asked Joe where he saw this going in the future: “The idea is to come up with a bunch of product iterations and maybe rolling papers, but to really capture products that make smoking on the go the most convenient.
“We’re going to take this as far as we can. In a dream world we would have iRollie sponsored concerts, festivals, and events similar to Redbull.”