When Eric Laurent found himself needing temporary storage between leases in Columbia, he had to make seven phone calls before finding a vacant storage unit that fit his price range.
Laurent knew there had to be a better way to connect those who needed storage with people who had space to spare. Laurent, a former University of Missouri football player, teamed with two other MU athletes, Jake Hurrell and Kristen Rivers, and the three began to develop Roo Storage as students in MU’s Crosby MBA program.
What started as a class project quickly became a full-fledged startup after Roo Storage received a $25,000 investment through the Missouri Innovation Center’s Accelerator Fund.
“It incubated in the classroom, but we decided to pursue it full time as a business,” Hurrell said.
Roo Storage has booked over 2,000 days of storage through its website, according to the company, and plans to expand beyond Columbia, starting with St. Louis. The team is also looking to market in other college towns.
The business: Roo Storage is designed to connect people with extra space in their home or business to people in need of storage. It’s similar to Airbnb, but instead of housing people, it’s storing stuff.
Key people: Founders Eric Laurent, Jake Hurrell, Kristin Rivers, Joe McAllister and Pravin Sivabalan
Founded: April 2018
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