The whole point of traveling is to give yourself a break from the stress of every-day life; to re-set, re-charge, and relax. What’s not relaxing? Getting stuck in a new city with a giant suitcase, unable to hit that museum or eat that sandwich you saw on Instagram. Enter StoreMe a mobile app that provides on-demand access to hourly or daily storage in retail stores with a touch of your finger.
Founded by Peter Korbel, a serial entrepreneur with credentials including Columbia Business School, bringing the food truck craze to Washington D.C., and creating co-working space, Blender. His new venture, StoreMe is helping weary travelers stow their baggage and get on with their adventures. With locations in NYC, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, and more, there are hundreds of places to leave your bags in safe hands for a few hours while you eat lunch, attend a meeting, go sightseeing, and more.
Read on for more about Peter, StoreMe, and how tech is continuing to make our lives (and therefore, our mental health) better!
Why did you start the company?
Peter Korbel (PK): I was running around downtown in NYC stuck with my gym bag and I had meetings. It was a problem for me and I thought this must be a problem for others. I was right. I asked a retailer if he would hold my bag for a small fee and he agreed. That’s when the on-demand mobile app solution came to me.
What makes StoreMe so unique?
PK: StoreMe is the first mobile app in the market and, as a result, have taken a different approach from our competitors in terms of our tech solution form the start. Our experience is simple and on-demand.
Our pricing is based on an hourly rate and whether the stored item is small or large, which has worked out very well for both customers and retail store expectation. We don’t mask the details of our retail locations until booking but treat them rather as partners and not commoditized space. With StoreMe, when customers search for a location, they can see the actual name and pictures of the location. This has great marketing and discovery implications for the retail stores as well when customers are interfacing with our mobile app.
You have an impressive entrepreneurial background - can you talk a bit about your passion for finding tech-enabled solutions for everyday problems?
PK: I am passionate about tech solutions that add real utility and provide a needed service. Customers benefit because they are able to relieve themselves of their baggage and the value add is significant. Retail stores win because they earn extra cash and get new potential customers.
How do you "work smarter" and keep a positive mindset?
PK: You have to learn from every experience and stay positive as you adjust to meet new challenges. For an entrepreneur, the cup is always “half full.” You must be comfortable waking up and going to sleep with uncertainty. Frankly, in the end, that’s what makes it is exciting and rewarding.
How do you balance the craziness of being an entrepreneur?
PK: I get up very early every morning, go for a run, or do yoga. This keeps me balanced and ready to attack the day. I control the craziness by accepting the reality of waking up and going to sleep with unanswered questions. Great entrepreneurs embrace and thrive in this uncertainty. I also leverage different technologies keeping me super organized as well as prioritize the most important tasks to move the business forward.
What are 3 tips you can share to someone starting their own company?
- Make sure your business solves a real problem with a sizable addressable market.
- Passion is critical to endure the highs and lows of building a business--many entrepreneurs loose energy and give up.
- Pay close attention to your company's unit economics and LTV, every investor cares deeply about these two metrics.
What is next for you and StoreMe?
PK: Right now our service is offered in New York City, Washington D.C., Boston and Philly and our goal is to scale into new cities quickly over the next 6 to 12 months and enhance the mobile experience. We are also in discussions with a number of larger businesses and corporate with respect to plugging StoreMe’s services into their retail locations in strategic cities initially.
For more on StoreMe, visit: www.getstoreme.com
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