In the fall of 2011, Samuel Kuruvilla, a marketing student had an issue finding a place to store his stuff. The closest storage unit is either 10 miles away, needing too many trips or they are just simply too over priced. “It really starts to get out of hand” said Samuel, There is a ridiculous surge price on storage units in the summer which means college students are forced to spend 3-4x the amount they would have paid otherwise. “There has to be a better solution”- Samuel Kuruvilla said.
With the help of 3 other team members, the group of college students created a new company called Storbnb. The website is a marketplace portal, similar to Airbnb. Except instead of hosting a place for people to stay over, it is made for UB students to store their unused stuff over the summer. It helps student generate side income by renting out their unused apartment space and renters can store their belongings cheaply while they are gone for the summer. The end goal for the Startup is so that anybody in a local community/neighborhood can increase their household income by allowing people to rent from their neighbors instead of traditional storage facilities.
“Everything is done from a website, which is very mobile friendly, comparable to airbnb,” Kuruvilla said. “You can filter the space you need by amount of space, size, climate control and price.”
The students have done a lot of work for their startup. They were a top 5 Finalist at the Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition, the only all undergraduate team in the $25,000 business plan competition. They also won Startup Weekend in 2016. In the past summer, they have tested out the business and made $1,200 with only 1 storage host in UB. “That’s only a proof of concept from 1 storage. Imagine if we have 10 hosts in every single school in the East Coast. We could be saving college students around the States a large sum of money while redistributing wealth to the economy” said Pong Cheecharern, a CTO of Storbnb.
Since then, they have also raised $4,000 Dollars of seed funding from the school of management at University at Buffalo.
“Our goal is to be everywhere, not only in the College market, but also in every single use case scenario for self storage” claimed Samuel Kuruvilla, Founder of Storbnb
You can check out their website at Storbnb.com