OSU grad, start-up founder embarks on
company’s NXT phase
NXTSTOR’s Brandon Gotlieb was recently featured in this Columbus Jewish News article by Noell Wolfgram Evans.
Brandon Gotlieb sees dollar signs in the open corners of your house. Two years ago as a student at The Ohio State University in Columbus, he and two partners created NXTSTOR, an app that can be described as “Airbnb for your stuff.”
Now, after an “anti-climactic graduation,” Gotlieb, as CEO and co-founder, is working to take NXTSTOR to the next level. And while many industries face uncertainty, there is a constant that the team is focused on – people have stuff.
NXTSTOR teams up homeowners with extra space with people who need to store stuff. Hosts place their spare bedroom, basement, attic or other space in their home on the app at a price per square foot. People who have things to store, such as holiday decorations, summer clothes, school supplies and so on, can make a connection and find their stuff a temporary home.
While it may seem like a non-ideal time to take a relatively new business upward, Gotlieb, a member of The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, said the timing provides a certain advantage for NXTSTOR 2.0.
“I think this is so timely right now,” said Gotlieb, a graduate of Orange High School in Pepper Pike. “Homeownership is so important and in this time of uncertainty in the world, it’s a way that people can earn a little extra money.”
When the app initially launched, Gotlieb said they realized early how much they had gotten wrong.
“None of us had built an app or done anything like this before,” he said.
“We went back and essentially rebuilt everything,” Gotlieb said with a laugh. “We refocused, got bigger, and more importantly got smarter.”
They also made additions. Gotlieb said NXTSTOR secured a partnership with Frayt, an on-demand shipping company, allowing users to find a storage location and a way to get their stuff there all through the app.
“If using the app can help people earn some extra money and stay in their homes, that would be amazing,” he added.
NXTSTOR is focused on space in Columbus, but is also undertaking a soft-launch in Denver, Gotlieb said. “We’re hoping as it grows, there’s a space in every neighborhood.”
While the pandemic has slowed much of the world down, Gotlieb said his team spent the time well.
“Honestly – and this feels weird to say – getting ready for the relaunch has been a little easier with everyone hunkered down,” he said. “We’ve taken it as an opportunity to be heads down.”
Gotlieb credits his time at OSU with giving him access to resources and support, particularly from his professors. He also equates success with a form of perseverance.
“A lot of times,” he said, “people hesitate to take a leap and try something else. I’ve sent so many emails where I was 99.999% sure that the response I would get would be negative, if I even got a response, only to be surprised.”
Much like in real estate, the success of NXTSTOR may be in its location, he said.
“A byproduct of living in Ohio is that people are really nice to us,” he said. “The support and encouragement has been great.”