EasyDesk by Alumnus Enrico Barchiesi Selected for Acceleration Program at CesenaLab
EasyDesk, an app created by John Cabot University alumnus Enrico Barchiesi, was selected for a 9-month acceleration program with CesenaLab. EasyDesk is an app that allows students to book spaces on campus in order to maintain social distance.
Born and raised in Ancona, Italy, at age 16 Enrico won a scholarship to spend his junior year of high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After earning a degree in Engineering from the Università Politecnica delle Marche, he enrolled in JCU and graduated in 2021 with a major in Business Administration and a minor in Entrepreneurship.
Why did you decide to come to JCU after earning an undergraduate degree in Engineering from an Italian university?
I decided to come to JCU after earning an engineering degree because I realized that I was more passionate about economics than I was about engineering. After spending over a year working as a part-time waiter, I learned that I really enjoy managing other people, and I found the economic side of business very interesting. Moreover, at a JCU open day I found out about the minor in entrepreneurship, and I saw it as an opportunity to turn my hobby into a university career path.
How did you get the idea for EasyDesk?
I had the idea over 3 years ago, when I was studying at an Italian university, and, I had to solve what my team and I call the “study spot monopoly.” This is when students arrive very early in the morning to leave some of their belongings on top of study spots to claim them. However, they do not actually use the spots all day (they go to class, have lunch…). Since they would leave their stuff on top of the desks, no other student could use them.
Not having any coding expertise, I convinced a very good friend of mine from high school, Lorenzo Menghini, to develop EasyDesk. Together with Bailey Ward (JCU 2019 graduate), we won two prizes at the JCU Weekend of Startups in 2019. Once the project became more concrete, four more friends joined the team. Now, our company comprises of seven people. Bailey and I take care of the commercial side, while Lorenzo and the remaining four deal with technological aspects of the business. The main challenges we have faced are communication and delivery time estimation. Our inexperience has led us to commit mistakes, but you can only learn certain lessons by failing.
At JCU, EasyDesk was very useful to maintain social distancing in common areas such as the library and the Tiber Cafe.
Congratulations on being selected by CesenaLab! Tell us about what this will entail.
CesenaLab is a certified Italian incubator founded in 2013. They provide startups with all the necessary services they may need to accelerate their ideas, including legal and commercial advice, links to investors, and a co-working space.
What are your future plans?
At the moment after five years of intensive college studies, I have decided to take a short break from education and focus full time on EasyDesk. For the next nine months I will work alongside CesenaLab to boost our entrepreneurial idea. In the future, depending on the successful outcome of our startup, I will continue my university career with a master’s in data analytics, finance, or tech.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Take advantage of all the connections you make while attending college. Professors are free consultants who are very happy to give you advice. Do not expect them to do the work for you but they can guide you in the right direction. Lastly, my biggest piece of advice is to work hard, believe in your idea, and not give up. There are days in which everything seems perfect and other days when you wonder why you even started. It’s all part of the game.