Storage Scholars on 'Shark Tank': What is the cost, who are the founders and how safe is the packing solution for students

Storage Scholars on 'Shark Tank': What is the cost, who are the founders and how safe is the packing solution for students
Storage Scholars CEO Sam Chason and COO Matt Gronberg in 'Shark Tank' Season 14 episode 4 (ABC)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: On Friday, October 14, a company that relocated its headquarters from North Carolina to Austin last year will get the opportunity to swim with the sharks. Storage Scholars LLC, a local startup company whose founders began by knocking on doors as college students, will make their marketing pitch to a national audience and the entrepreneurs on the reality television show 'Shark Tank.'

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During Season 1, Omar Soliman and his business partner Nick Friedman went to 'Shark Tank' with hopes of raising $250,000. They were willing to sell 25% of the company's shares. The startup never took off after appearing on Season 1 of 'Shark Tank' as they turned down the only offer they got from Shark Robert Herjavec. But the creators of Storage Scholars are really expecting to get the support of their favorite Sharks and achieve their goal of doubling their sales by next summer.

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What is Storage Scholars?

Moving your belongings into and out of your dorm at the beginning and conclusion of each academic year is likely the most vexing aspect of college living. Occasionally, it is also essential to move out of your dorm room in the midst of the academic year. Sam Chason attended Wake Forest University as a first-year student in 2016 and observed foreign and out-of-state students fretting over how to pack, move, and keep their belongings. He observed several of his classmates hastily exploring nearby businesses for free packing boxes and climbing down flights of stairs with big belongings while attempting to fit everything into their cars. He devised the concept of a moving and storage firm that caters to the unique requirements of college students.

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During his first year in business, he acquired 64 clients by knocking on dorm room doors and received overwhelmingly great comments and no consumer complaints. Sam distributed leaflets to every student on campus and went door-to-door to pitch the business and determine what his target consumers required and desired from a summer storage service. Deposits of $50 covered the initial cost of boxes, materials, truck rentals, and the first month of storage for each customer. From there, everything was bootstrapped. He teamed with Matt Gronberg and the Wake Forest Residence Life and Counseling Team the next year. They went out to acquaintances in Florida and New York and urged them to launch the company on their respective campuses. However, the challenges of administering a corporation over great distances led to the first choice to focus primarily on North Carolina institutions.

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Winston Starts, a non-profit that helps entrepreneurs expand their enterprises, provided Storage Scholars with assistance and advice. Over the past five years, Storage Scholars has experienced tremendous growth.


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Who are the founders of Storage Scholars?

Sam Chason, the current CEO, launched Storage Scholars during his freshman year at Wake Forest University. Sam, searching for a solution to graduate from college without incurring student loan debt, noticed an opportunity to enable students to live a flight away from the school store or ship their stuff easily. Customers can enjoy a variety of contactless services without ever having to leave their rooms thanks to the hotel's creative employment of students and proprietary technology.

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Prior to Sam's 2016 college enrollment, he reached an agreement with his parents. Although they were unwilling to pay the whole cost of private school tuition, they agreed to pay the equal cost of a public school education provided he covered the remaining charge. At age 18, the responsibility of a quarter million dollars in debt was not one he took lightly, so he immediately began searching for any method to pay off his impending liabilities.

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Sam first recognized the need for an optimal campus storage solution among the foreign student population. When flying from India, Ethiopia, or China, for instance, students would frequently bring two huge bags stuffed with supplies and then purchase the remainder of their goods locally upon their arrival on campus. He understood that shipping boxes of bedding, school supplies, and winter clothing overseas at the conclusion of the semester would not make financial or logistical sense. Sam believed there had to be a method for kids to move in and out of school without losing time to study for exams or celebrate the conclusion of the school year. Thus, Storage Scholars was formed.

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Co-founder and COO, Matt Gronberg, class of 2021, majored in biochemistry and Spanish. He arrived in Wake with hopes of attending Medical School and began working for Storage Scholars to help pay off some of the approaching loans. The company's passion and objective encouraged him to shift his professional path and kindled his entrepreneurial fire. He will graduate debt-free as a result of his endeavors, and he intends to encourage and motivate other students to take action and achieve the same.

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What is the cost and where to acquire the services of Storage Scholars from?

When you create an account on https://www.storagescholars.com/, you tell the firm what you intend to store. They will provide you with free boxes to fill with your belongings. Simply pack the box, arrange for a pickup, and they will transport it to their local storage facility. The storage of the boxes is $17 per month for a minimum of four months. They will also send your boxes for shipping costs plus an additional charge. The firm also keeps baggage, furniture, and other objects for rates that vary depending on the item's size.

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Need a secure, inexpensive place to keep your vehicle over the summer? You need to look no further. The experts at Storage Scholars will carry and store your vehicle to and from college. Contact them for a customized quote! The majority of vehicles cost $250 per month and include pick-up, storage, and return to campus.

"Out of Box" products are priced at above $5.00 per foot. The item's monthly cost will be capped at $75. Unused and unreturned Storage Scholars boxes will incur a fee of $10 per box. Storage Scholars offers shipping services at the following standard pricing for your convenience:

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1. $50/box (22”x18”x18”) + the cost of shipping (See FedEx shipping calculator for an estimate)
0-500 miles: Estimated ~$40
500-1000 miles: Estimated ~$65
1000-1500 miles: Estimated ~$85

Storage Scholars provides the opportunity to transport your belongings once all students on your campus have been dismissed (after the green dates you see on your account). Any requests to ship prior to the autumn drop-off dates (green dates) may incur a fee of $110 depending on the availability of student team members. At this time, the firm is unable to meet August green-date shipping appointments. If you are interested in shipping and want clarification on their policies, contact the Customer Service team through their website. Currently, the firm can only ship Storage Scholars' boxes. Other things like suitcases and golf clubs are accommodated on a case-by-case basis, but additional packing fees will apply.

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Each box or out-of-box item kept includes $100 in free insurance coverage. If you wish to add coverage to a higher-value box or out-of-box item, you can choose from the following choices when uploading images of your things to your account.

Additional insurance coverage can be acquired at:
$2/mo (+100)
$3/mo (+250)
$5/mo (+500)

This year, Storage Scholars has generated $2 million in revenue. The previous year, Storage Scholars serviced over 3,500 clients and had an average feedback rating of 4.8 stars.

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Where is Storage Scholars now?

Currently, they are offered on a few college campuses. They undoubtedly need assistance in expanding nationwide. The company has developed a collaboration model with colleges to provide a totally contactless mail pickup and delivery service. Students get boxes, tape, and packing materials on campus, pack their possessions, lock their doors, and depart. Storage Scholars arrive with a team of students after the dorms have closed, transfer everything into storage, and then have each student's stuff in their new room when they return. They cultivate long-lasting partnerships with university administrators and are continually seeking new connections.

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Over the past five years, the firm has established a presence on 23 university campuses in nine states, while also seeking more expansion options. Other campuses in North Carolina include UNC School of the Arts, Davidson College, Duke, Elon, High Point, and UNC-Chapel Hill. Now, by the summer of 2023, Sam envisions serving fifty schools, more than doubling its clientele. His objective is for Storage Scholars, which is based on the East Coast and reaches the South through Texas, to grow more national in scope. Sam aims to expand into further locations, including Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, and Boston. Chason told The Business Journal that he hopes to continue growing Storage Scholars to serve students at major state universities, tiny liberal arts colleges, and all other sorts of institutions.

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Storage Scholars collaborates with colleges to store students' belongings off-campus for the summer after the campus is unoccupied and then return them before the start of the academic year. Matt and Sam stated that all campus operations, from marketing to fulfillment, are performed by current student workers, which creates employment and gives practical business experience.

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Sam told The Business Journal that Storage Scholars has two further partnerships in the works, but he declined to provide any details until the transactions are finalized. Having closed Moving Scholars, a residential moving service he founded in April 2021, he is now concentrating completely on Storage Scholars and its expansion.

They participated in the 2022 SEAHO (Southeast Association of Housing Officers) Conference in March. The firm grew in July 2022 by including a shipping component. Matt and Sam state that one of their objectives is to assist existing college students in generating revenue that will reduce the financial burden of tuition. They are ecstatic about the opportunity to present their business on 'Shark Tank.'

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Who will steal the deal?

Sam compared preparation for 'Shark Tank' to preparing for a championship game: he and Matt examined game footage (prior 'Shark Tank' episodes), practiced their routes and plays (the stats and narrative for their pitches), and exercised every day (cut out distractions, slept well, ate healthily). They desired to appear and leave everything on the field. Sam cannot disclose whether or not any of the Sharks invested in Storage Scholars, but he believes this is an opportunity to increase the company's visibility and respectability.

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The Sharks will be impressed with a solid business plan, solid financials, and sales statistics, but the entrepreneurs must demonstrate THEIR ability to operate the firm to "Shark Standards." Kevin O'Leary may be interested in making a bid, but he may want a substantial stake in the business. Robert Herjavec is another shark who may be interested in striking a deal. The only thing left to do is wait to see whether the Sharks really agree to a deal.

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‘Shark Tank’ Season 14 Episode 4 airs on ABC on Friday, October 14, 2022, at 8 pm ET. Catch the latest episode featuring products like Expedition SubSahara, Ghia, Storage Scholars, and Woosh.


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