Inventive MSU Students Turning Golf Carts into Gold
STARKVILLE, MS – Starkville Daily News
CFO Cameron Maddox, 19, left, and COO James Moore, 19, of Cowbell Carts (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
MSU students Sophomores James Moore and Cameron Maddox are launching Starkville’s first micro-transportation system, called “Cowbell Carts.” Each of their two carts (at the moment) can seat six passengers comfortably, and the young men plan to use them to help people travel safely during busy times hours, e.g. acting as designated drivers, shuttling people to big games from distant parking lots, etc. Their initial coverage area will include primarily MSU’s campus, the Cotton District, and Main Street. The cost for a ride for a group of people from Main Street to the dorms will be about $8 total.
“I think we are really going to provide a service that not only makes everyone safer, but it’s going to be really fun and entertaining,” Moore said. He went on to say that their company was inspired by the observation that college towns, such as Starkville, tend to have a vibrant night life; thus, the decision was made to offer a low-cost, safe way to get people where they’re going while they’re out on the town.
While not everyone has been as enthusiastic about the prospects for such a business, their professors and the college have given them valuable criticism and supported their idea: “We try to take the criticism as constructive,” Moore said. “I’ve been relying heavily on people that have much more experience than I do.”
While they plan to keep it a 2-man operation at first, in order to test the waters, they plan to expand once football season begins. They know that the road ahead is uncertain – as they need to balance their new jobs with their scholastix endeavors – but they are confident that they can pull this off, and they are willing to work hard in order that they succeed on both fronts: “When you’re thinking of the idea, let your head go to the clouds,” Maddox said. “But when it comes down to actually making the business, you’ve got to be on the ground.”
Cowbell Carts is projected to have a ribbon cutting ceremony sometime between Aug. 7 and Aug 11. The company will begin immediately when school starts back for Mississippi State students this fall.
“I’m obviously incredibly excited for this to be here, not just because it’s my business but it’s something that Starkville doesn’t have and Starkville needs,” Moore said. “I think Starkville and the campus is going to see a lot of good come out of this.”
Business hours will be every Thursday through Saturday from 6 P.M. to 2 A.M.
Courtesy of The Dispatch
Wythe Rhett of Rhett Real Estate recently confirmed that Cook Out, the North Carolina-based burger chain that set up a successful location in Starkville about a year ago, plans to open a location in North Columbus. Cook Out recently finalized the purchase of the old Immanuel Baptist Church property on 18th Ave N, which had not been in use in the past two years. Their current intention is to “demolish the (church) building and carve out enough of the property to put Cook Out on, then look at the possibility of adding another motel or strip (mall).”
Cook Out eateries are known for grilled burgers, barbecue and more than 40 kinds of milkshakes. The Starkville location employs approximately 50 and is open 10:30 a.m.-3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10:30 a.m.-4 a.m. Friday-Saturday. This would be the fourth Cook Out location in the state, joining its over 170 brethren nationwide.
The Volume Freight shipping company, owned by Doug Estes, is currently building a new steel structure on Hwy 82 near the Vibrant Church West location. The finished building will serve as a two-floor terminal with a three-vehicle bay shop to maintain Volume’s fleet of 65 trucks. Next up once that’s ready is a planned 150-thousand square foot warehouse and approximately 35 new trucks. The company employs about 80 drivers, who service the contiguous 48 states, plus about eight local mechanics; roughly half of the trucks are based locally, as well. Volume Freight, a local company, has been in business since 1988.
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Mississippian Appointed Chairman of UPS
UPS CEO David Abney.Photo credit: UPS/courtesy image
Mississippi’s own David Abney, who was born in Greenwood, worked his way to the top of international shipping giant UPS over the course of a long career, starting in 1974 in his hometown of Greenwood. Abney was recently elected as Chairman of the company by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors. He also served as COO since 2007, CEO since 2014, and former President of UPS International. He is also a Trustee of The UPS Foundation, and Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.
How does it help to have a local in that position? Abney will have first-hand knowledge of the ample warehouse facilities and inter-modal options in our great state (many of which are located in the Starkville-Columbus area). It’s not that he can necessarily influence business our way, but he will be a powerful voice in the company who can help get Mississippi to the table to compete. Any person of influence from the state helps – even in the smallest of ways. It might only be a small chance that he remembers a friend of a friend who told him about an affordable building for lease in rural Lowndes County…but, his small decisions at UPS have a lot of zeros behind them.
It is ALWAYS good for business to have friends in high places!
Some info courtesy of UPS Pressroom. Please click here for more information.