One Nightstand

                          Quick, easy and hassle free, your furniture means a lot to me!”


One nightstand is a quick, easy and hassle-free service "by students, for students" where students can buy/sell used furniture. It caters to the exact furniture needs of a student population and offers a whole product solution wherein students looking to buy furniture can browse furniture online, make appointments, get their furniture delivered and assembled at a low price. On the other hand, students looking to sell their furniture can make an appointment online for valuation of their furniture, after which their furniture is picked up free of charge. 

 One Nightstand

Executive Summary 2012

Duke Start-Up Challenge: Women Led track  

“Quick, easy and hassle free, your furniture means a lot to me!”

$1,000. That is how much it would cost you to leave all your furniture behind. You thought you would be doing your landlord a favor, you have furnished his apartment with Ikea’s finest. However, it seems he is unimpressed with your menagerie of mismatched items and is threatening to withhold your security deposit if the room is not empty within a week. You just do not know how to get rid of all this furniture apart from leaving it on the street for the homeless.


This is actually just one manifestation of a common problem that plagues students who rent unfurnished apartments. This is a two-pronged problem. Acquiring the furniture is a tedious process requiring two engineering friends you have paid in pizza to purchase, carry and assemble the furniture. Then, when you are ready to leave, you have to remove it all. This is a time consuming process that is mired by the inconvenience of selling furniture piece by piece, haggling over prices and then organizing pick-up times for large items.

Through a survey of our target market at Duke University, of which 67% of respondents were graduate students, the majority rated buying and arranging furniture as having a difficulty level of 7 out of 10.



One Nightstand provides students with an interlinked university portal, making it convenient for students to buy and sell furniture. Our company will provide a solution for two groups of customers. The first is the new student, who needs to furnish her apartment. She can browse our website, select her furniture and choose a convenient delivery day and time. The second group of customers are students who are moving away and need to get rid of their furniture. They can  select an appointment time on our website to have their furniture valued and collected.

Our unique value proposition offers free delivery and pick-up to and from a student's house, a diverse collection of refurbished furniture displayed on our website with an expanded university network, friendly and safe staff, as well as exclusivity to students.

Sample User Interface

Market Size

The potential customer base comprises university students who experience the need to buy and sell used furniture. There are 14,350 students at Duke University. 55% of these are undergraduates and 45% are graduate students. Out of this, 50% of the undergraduates are juniors and seniors and live off-campus and 80% of them buy furniture. Out of the graduate students, 80% of them buy furniture. There are 2,485 international students and 90% of them are willing to buy used furniture. Out of the remaining domestic students, 35% of them buy used furniture. Therefore, for a single university, the market size is 4,219 customers. Our targeted customers are students from the RTP area (Duke University, UNC, NCSU University, Wake Forest University and NCCU University). For five universities, our potential market size is 21,095 customers, consisting primarily of juniors, seniors, graduate students and PHD students. We have a future vision to target customers in other universities all across the United States based on geographic clusters that promote operational efficiency.

Business Model

The business model of One Nightstand is based on cost optimization and the consignment model that offers recurrent value generation from transient assets. The cost optimization is executed through routing optimizations, effective inventory management, and maximizing asset utilization allowing for a unique value proposition yet to be delivered to students. The active operating time for One Nightstand is six months, April to September, when the purchasing and selling of furniture will occur. This is assumed to be the time of greatest demand when students will be moving into or out of campuses. The warehouse will be rented for the entire year to store unsold furniture. Labor and transportation is allocated in each operating cycle based on expected demand.

Revenue Model and Cost Structure

The average cost to purchase furniture per person is assumed to be $100. The average price of selling furniture in customized sets is $250. These figures are based on data relating to prices students would be willing to buy and sell furniture at (gathered in an extensive survey of 112 students). The market potential is assumed to be the market of those interested in buying used furniture at five universities equivalent in size to Duke University. It is assumed that the number of students selling furniture is the same as the number buying furniture. In our first year, we assume a penetration rate of 5% selling to and buying from 1,055 students, which we think is possible through university promotions. The five year goal is to be the number one source for students looking to furnish their apartment and get rid of furniture in the RTP area.


While there are companies catering to student furniture needs, none provide the level of convenience and service One Nightstand will offer. A key advantage we will have over our competitors is our affiliation with Universities and our empathy to the difficulties students face. The diagram below compares One Nightstand to our top five competitors. The competitors were determined during the survey based on the students' current services.



Pro Forma Statement

The values derived in this statement are based on one cluster - five universities in the RTP area. The bottoms-up approach was used in determining the values. The penetration rate is enforced through our aggresive marketing strategy and university affiliation.


Starting March 21st, vote for us on the Duke Start-Up Challenge Facebook Page!  And be sure to join us for the Grand Finale on April 20th at 7:30pm ET in Geneen Auditorium at the Fuqua School of Business, or live on Duke's Ustream Channel.  RSVP for the event on Facebook


Management Team
Amalina Daud
Saachi Pole
Akanksha Sharma
Rachel O Connor

The team is comprised of four female Master of Engineering Management students, specializing in Competitive Strategies and Innovation Management.


- Remove the hassle of moving furniture in and out

- No need to assemble furniture

- Large database for students to choose from

- Convenient one stop shop to furnish your apartment

- Environmentally friendly, reduced packaging waste
- Safe

Use of Funds

The total startup funding needed is $54,341. We will use this to cover the rental cost of warehouse, cargo vans and labor for our first year of operation. Our business design is based on a consignment and cost optimization model, which allows for net profit generation from year 1. 


 Long Term Strategy
- Expand to other areas in the US with a high densities of students
- Establish rotating student management teams for each university cluster