We’re celebrating Indiana University student innovators and entrepreneurs who are clients of the Shoebox, the university’s student-startup incubator. Located in the Shoemaker Innovation Center in Luddy Hall on the Bloomington campus, the Shoebox provides 24/7 office space to help student entrepreneurs build, launch and sustain their businesses.
Meet Trap Mike’s: Late Night Market
Two students from Carmel, Indiana — Misha Rekhter, a behavioral economics major in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Max Himelstein, an economic consulting and public policy analysis major in the Kelley School of Business — have founded Trap Mike’s: Late Night Market.
The company was founded to provide food options with quick delivery at an affordable price for all college students.
“Currently across college campuses, there is a lack of late-night food options. It’s fair to assume the average college student will experience many late nights throughout the year for a variety of reasons — including partying, studying and just enjoying a casual night with friends,” Himelstein said.
Rekhter said food options on the Bloomington campus after 10 p.m. are limited compared to traditional business hours.
“Additionally, companies that do not provide their own delivery service but utilize delivery services like DoorDash and Uber Eats charge more because of the additional service fees,” he said.
If college students prefer to order online from restaurants late at night, their options are equally limited.
Trap Mike’s grand opening will be Feb. 4 at IU Bloomington, operating only at night and renting space from an off-campus commercial kitchen.
“This will allow us to offer customers the best-tasting variety of late-night comfort food at the lowest cost,” Himelstein said. “We will offer a variety of comfort foods to satisfy people’s cravings and a fleet of drivers with optimized driving routes. If needed, we will utilize third-party delivery services if our drivers become backed up.”
The present and future for Trap Mike’s: Late Night Market
Rekhter said Trap Mike’s is determined to become part of campus life in Bloomington. The company plans to connect with Greek life, student organizations, club sports and Division I athletics to increase brand recognition.
“Furthermore, we plan to sponsor different campus events,” he said. “When someone orders from Trap Mike’s, they aren’t just getting satisfying, late-night grub; they’re participating in a quintessential college experience.”
Himelstein said Trap Mike’s will provide a working environment where employees will develop professional and interpersonal skills.
“We will abide by all Title XII and equal-pay requirements, but we also want to provide our employees with enough autonomy so that each truly feels they are contributing to the success of our business,” he said.
“Also, rather than throwing away food we didn’t use at the end of the weekend, we will donate all items that are still fresh to people in need.”
Rekhter said the spring 2021 semester at IU will impact how Trap Mike’s operates in the future.
“We need to have sufficient success to dictate whether we should expand to more college campuses next fall,” he said.
Praise for the Shoebox
“The Shoebox is a valuable resource in that it provides a space to get feedback and learn from other student entrepreneurs. While different companies obviously have different problems, there are certain similarities across industries that make hearing other people’s perspectives invaluable,” Rekhter said. “And it’s helpful to be able to talk through new ideas in a welcoming, understanding environment.”
Student startups can apply for 24/7 access to the Shoebox’s office space, which is located in the Shoemaker Innovation Center, Luddy Hall 2150. The Shoebox also collaborates with the Hoosier Hatchery pre-incubator at the Kelley School of Business, as well as Bloomington’s Dimension Mill startup accelerator. To apply for coworking space, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.