Ithaca College Alum’s Food Delivery Service Takes Off in Ethiopia

By Dan Verderosa, March 1, 2016

Alum’s Food Delivery Service Takes Off in Ethiopia

The BBC World Service recently interviewed 2010 Ithaca College alumnus Feleg Tsegaye about his burgeoning new fast food delivery service in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Listen: Fast food delivery in Ethiopia

About three years ago, Tsegaye left a promising position as an IT analyst for the United States Federal Reserve to pursue business opportunities in Ethiopia. Today, his company, Deliver Addis, works with 12 to 15 restaurants in the capital city. The bulk of Deliver Addis’s customers are expatriates already familiar with food delivery services, but Tsegaye plans to expand his service to local Ethiopians as the country’s recent economic growth increases wages and expands the middle class.

“It’s already happening. We’re seeing Ethiopians order sometimes three times a day,” Tsegaye told the BBC. “That’s why we started it.”

Tsegaye worked as an assistant web developer at Ithaca College while he was a student. He earned his degree in computer information systems, with a minor in business administration.

“IC helped prepare me for launching businesses in one of the most challenging environments in the world by equipping me with not only the technical and business skills I needed, but also the social awareness to always seek out ways to create value for people that may not be able to afford our core services,” said Tsegaye.

In January 2016, Tsegaye was invited to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as a Global Shaper, where he had the opportunity to meet with CEOs, presidents and prime ministers.

Deliver Addis’s success is already garnering inquiries from global logistics providers looking to improve their last-mile delivery ability in emerging markets like Ethiopia, where challenges such as a lack of addresses can complicate deliveries. That attention has Tsegaye setting his sights on bigger things.

“It could be Deliver Africa,” said Tsegaye. “You never know.”