Sophomore is Hungry for Innovation

Nicolosi+created+Raccoon+Delivery%2C+a+Fordham-specific+food+delivery+service%2C+with+his+friends+in+Fall+2021+%28Courtesy+of+Nicoleta+Papavasilakis%2FThe+Fordham+Ram%29.+

Nicolosi created Raccoon Delivery, a Fordham-specific food delivery service, with his friends in Fall 2021 (Courtesy of Nicoleta Papavasilakis/The Fordham Ram).

Michael Sluck, Production Editor

Google was founded by a college student. So was Facebook. So were Microsoft, FedEx, Reddit, WordPress and Time Magazine. Sitting across from Mark Nicolosi, GSB ’24, as he explained his new business, Racoon Delivery, to me, I had to wonder if I was looking at one of America’s future billionaires. 

Nicolosi comes from a family of go-getters. His grandfather worked at the Argentinian World Trade Center and had such a passion for finance and business that it inspired Nicolosi to follow in his footsteps. Another one of his primary influences, his mother, immigrated from Argentina to the United States to begin her own dental practice. Nicolosi describes both of them as some of his major influences in life, having instilled in him both a love of business and a strong set of principles. 

Nicolosi’s passion for business and finance, however, does not come from any sense of greed. His interest in the stock market is an academic one; a perpetual learner, he loves monitoring financial markets and studying the impacts they have on the world. 

The seed for his ambitions was originally planted on his first trip to the Bronx, when he toured Fordham for the first time. He vividly remembers being struck by the homelessness in the area, a degree to which he had never seen in his hometown in Colorado. As he explored the area just outside of Fordham’s gates, he immediately knew that he wanted to give back to the community. 

While he toyed around with some different ideas his freshman year, it wasn’t until fall 2021 that Nicolosi and his friends came up with the idea for Raccoon Delivery. Raccoon, put simply, is a food-delivery service that caters exclusively to Fordham students. Unlike other conventional delivery services, which cannot enter Fordham’s campus and force students to make the trek to the gate to meet their food, couriers can bring orders right to students’ doorsteps. In the future, Nicolosi hopes to expand this, so each dorm on campus has its own specific delivery people, meaning food can be brought up directly to a customer’s room. 

Nicolosi’s main goal in creating Raccoon is not profit. His priority is giving back to the Bronx community with the money he makes from the company. He has been in conversation with several Bronx-based organizations dedicated to helping the homeless, and he intends to donate a portion of Raccoon’s profits to these groups. In his eyes, the issue with many modern corporations is that they often fail to abide by any sort of moral standards. His goal is to create a company with strong ethical principles , one that is driven more by a desire to aid people than by profit. 

However, creating Raccoon, was no easy task. The most difficult part, according to its founder, was overcoming his own doubts in himself and having faith that things would work out. As someone who likes taking action, it was very difficult for him to be patient and spend time planning for the future. According to Nicolosi, it would have been impossible to create Raccoon without help from the other founders of the app: Olivia Walker, GSB ’24, Phil Jaskavici, GSB ’24 and Alejandro Celi, GSB ’24. They also received advice and aid from Fordham professors, as well as the Fordham Foundry, on how to best get their project off the ground. 

While the company had previously been in beta testing for the past couple of months, it officially launched on Saturday, Feb. 5. Nicolosi said the opening went “super well,” and that the company did over $200 in sales. 

Nicolosi is not one to rest on his laurels, however. Now that the company is open, there is discussion about expansion, including possibly starting similar companies at different campuses. He has reached out to both Cornell and the University of Colorado-Boulder about expanding the business. In the future, he wants to leave a lasting legacy on Fordham’s campus and he hopes that Raccoon continues to be a presence at Fordham after he graduates. 

Business, though, is not Nicolosi’s only passion. In his spare time, he’s a voracious reader, having only recently finished both Dostovesky’s “Crime and Punishment” and Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five.” One of his dreams, he says, is to one day publish a novel, specifically in his favorite genre of realistic fiction. He also works for Fordham, both as a tutor and as a part of the sports broadcasting team.