In this article, NXTSTOR’s Brandon Gotlieb talks to Chagrin Valley Today’s Julie Hullett about NXTSTOR’s launch in Ohio and Colorado. The two discuss NXTSTOR’s past and how it helps homeowners earn extra money and helps renters easily find a place to store items.
Four years of work finally came to fruition on June 19 when NXTSTOR, an app to find storage space for your belongings, launched on the App Store and Google Play Store. The app is the brainchild of Brandon Gotlieb, 22, and his co-founder, Ashwin Rajgopal.
Mr. Gotlieb grew up in Pepper Pike and just graduated from the Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He said that he came up with the idea for the app during his college years. International students were looking for places in the Columbus area to store their belongings over the summer. Now, there’s an app for that.
Since launching mid-June, NXTSTOR has been downloaded almost 300 times, Mr. Gotlieb said. It has more than 50 positive reviews on the App Store and is rated 5 out of 5 stars.
“As a kid, my inspiration wasn’t to reinvent storage units,” Mr. Gotlieb said with a laugh on July 1. “From the early days, it was a concept that we wanted to grow into a business. Entrepreneurship is a facet of my life. Everyone in my family runs a business and everyone is working on what makes them happy.”
Mr. Gotlieb emphasized that the app is easy to use, making it ideal for people who need to store their belongings and people who want to rent out their extra space, whether it is a garage, basement or closet. It is simple to search for different spaces and keep track of payment methods and fees.
All communication between the two parties takes place on the app, he added. For people who want to rent their space, they can upload pictures, write a description of the storage space and track the money that they are earning.
“The mental barrier is being lowered every day because people are comfortable doing it this way.” Mr. Gotlieb said, comparing his new app to traditional storage units. “We have some little things to make it easier.”
NXTSTOR has also partnered with Frayt, a Cincinnati-based startup, to provide moving services at an affordable rate. Users can schedule a time for their items to be picked up and delivered to the storage space they are renting.
The concept for NXTSTOR, Mr. Gotlieb said, evolved over the past four years. It was originally meant to connect students living on and around campus and he helped move boxes to a storage unit while also juggling studying for finals. The following summer, his team built a student platform for the app, then went back to the drawing board again and created a web platform. Mr. Gotlieb gathered data and conducted a trial before the app launched last month.
One hurdle that he has worked to over-come is making sure that users feel safe and secure whether storing their items or renting a space. Mr. Gotlieb said that the hosts go through a background check and they are encouraged to be communicative. His team is working on developing an insurance platform that he hopes to finish by the end of the year.
“Our biggest hurdle without question is getting hosts onto the platform to provide enough space for renters,” he said. There is currently space available in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Denver, Colorado.
Mr. Gotlieb, who now lives in Chagrin Falls, added that he welcomes community feedback and encourages people to email his team at email@example.com.