Campus - 10.08.2023 - 10:30 

Startup Storabble: "The university years are the perfect time to start a startup"

With the storage platform "storabble," Oliver Meyer and his co-founders aim to revolutionize storage space rental in Switzerland. Even when things don't always go as planned, the young HSG student and his team always find a way, even turning their business plan upside down. Article by student reporter Anna Kati Schreiter.
Startup Storabble: With the storage platform "storabble", Oliver Meyer and his co-founders want to revolutionise storage space rental in Switzerland.

"Develop a comprehensive business idea and present it" – that's roughly the task in the Entrepreneurship course by Prof. Dr. Dietmar Grichnik at the University of St.Gallen (HSG), where business administration student Oliver Meyer is soon to meet his future co-founders of his own startup, storabble. The team, initially consisting of eight students, doesn't know each other well at this point, but quickly agrees on an idea. While today, storabble allows for finding and comparing professional storage spaces in Switzerland, the team originally aimed to solve a problem in the sharing economy with their idea – making it possible to rent out one's own basement as storage space.

The Audacious Belief in Oneself

However, the startup idea didn't end after the course. A portion of the group decided to turn fiction into reality and founded storabble. HSG played an important role in driving the vision forward. In the Talents Program by Startup@HSG, the young founders got to experience exciting coaching sessions and establish valuable relationships, such as with lawyers and Startfeld, the startup promoter of the canton.

After successfully completing the Talents Program at HSG, they were also able to apply for the Entrepreneurial Champions Program. This opportunity led them on a trip to Tel Aviv with other entrepreneurs, where they could learn from the local startup ecosystem. "In Israel, every third person works at a startup. It's crazy how important that is for the entire economy there," says the young entrepreneur. In Tel Aviv, they not only talked to venture capital companies but also exchanged experiences with other startups. Oliver was particularly impressed by the mindset of the people there, describing it as an audacious belief in themselves and their abilities – a quality that, according to Oliver, many Swiss people rarely openly display.

The University supported the young startup in other areas as well. They got to lead a project as part of the Capstones program. They received advice from two student teams in the Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Customer (B2C) sectors. This helped the young startup not only verify existing assumptions but also establish new contacts and bring companies on board.

"Your Ideas Will Probably Fail"

However, the startup journey doesn't always go as planned. "You have to be able to cope with strong fluctuations. There will be days when you wake up in the morning and don't even feel like getting up," the young entrepreneur reports. After the first attempt, the team realized that the current business idea for the sharing platform wasn't feasible – there were too many obstacles that could never be fully eliminated. But Oliver and his co-founders stuck to their vision of revolutionizing storage space rental. "Your first idea will probably fail. The question is, how do you deal with it," emphasizes Oliver. Thus, what started as an Airbnb for basements became the Trivago for storage spaces. With storabble, it should be possible to find and compare all providers of storage space at a glance and book the right offer directly. In the future, the HSG team also aims to integrate additional services on the platform, such as transportation, packaging, or insurance, to act as a kind of one-stop-shop.

Oliver's Advice to Fellow Students

While starting a startup takes a lot of time and might be hard to imagine for many students during their studies, Oliver can't think of a better time for such a career adventure: "Studying is the perfect time to start a startup. You can try out your ideas, and if you fail, it's not that bad." On the other hand, if things go well, Oliver believes it's possible to grow and expand the idea from semester to semester. At the same time, a student doesn't have to justify why they're working on their own startup instead of pursuing a "real" job during their studies. After all, the original idea would probably fail at the beginning anyway – ultimately, what matters is the audacious belief in oneself.

Anna Kati Schreiter studied business administration at the University of St.Gallen.

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