By Arshi Husain ’26 (She/Her), Staff Writer
Last year Davidson students saw dozens of Storage Scholars boxes stacked high and lining residential hall corridors. While the move and storage company no longer works with Davidson College, it’s left a mark on the move-in, move-out process.
Sam Chason was a freshman at Wake Forest University in 2017 when he began developing Storage Scholars. Storage Scholars is partnered with colleges from around the nation to make the moving process simpler for all students, particularly those who come from afar. In 2018, Chason started work with Wake Forest’s Residence Life and Housing team and established a partnership with co-founder Matt Gronberg. Gronberg, a Wake Forest alumnus, is the company’s current COO. Today, Chason and Gronberg are officially in business with Shark Tank entrepreneur Mark Cuban.
Ex co-founder Isaac Caceres ’23 sheds light on Storage Scholars foundations, “When Sam started the company, he pretty much did it from the ground-up. He’s been through and battled all the initial struggles.”
On Season 14 Episode 4 of Shark Tank, Chason and Gronberg marketed Storage Scholars competitive edge. The company uses its own custom-built technology to simplify the automation process. This allows them to efficiently manage their databases and clientele. By establishing close connections and trust with college partners, Storage Scholars is able to gain keycard access to residential buildings, which ensures smooth operations.
All four Sharks on the panel listened intently as the founders pitched their business model. While they got three offers, Chason and Gronberg opted for a deal with Mark Cuban. They were supplied with $250,000 in capital, in exchange for 10% equity.
“The legitimacy and notoriety our business will get from partnering with Mark will really help differentiate us from others in the market and goes to show that we’re serious about what we do,” explained Chason.
It has been a “childhood dream” for Chason to appear on Shark Tank. “It was quite the experience. Audiences only see about ten minutes of the pitch, but we were in there for nearly an hour. I’m really happy with the deal we took,” said Chason.
After negotiating the specifics, the founders believe they achieved the best possible outcome. Even though Mark Cuban has stakes in hundreds of different startups, Storage Scholars receives ample attention, according to Chason. In the future, the company hopes to expand across the United States and potentially internationally.
However, some students at Davidson College believe the company’s services are unaffordable. Davidson international student, Zuber Singh Chawla (’25) claimed he was “distressed” upon looking at the final invoice. Chawla (’25) said, “I chose Storage Scholars because I had nowhere to store my belongings over the summer while I went to visit my family in India. I regretted it because it ended up costing me about a thousand dollars.”
Caceres ’23 responded to student financial concerns with the following statement, “It’s not a cheap service because the company puts in a lot of work and effort. As soon as you pack up your belongings, you don’t have to worry about them for a second. Everything gets taken care of.” Caceres believes the convenience that comes with choosing Storage Scholars is well worth the “pretty penny.”
Chason and Gronberg initially founded their business to help pay off their own student loans. In that vein, they hope to give other students the same opportunity by prioritizing student employment. Geo Echebiri ’23 worked with the team last year and shared his experiences under their employment, “If I could do it again, I would. I got paid well and definitely felt like my work was compensated for. It was also great knowing that I was helping people in the process.” Over the years, Storage Scholars has paid over $804,000 in student wages.
What audiences may view as ten minutes of reality television, is actually much more than that. A deal with a Shark drastically changes Storage Scholars’ prospects. It has already come a long way from 2017, growing from 64 customers to over 7,400. Founder Sam Chason is optimistic about the company’s future and is looking forward to working with a diverse range of colleges, including Davidson. “We would love to rekindle our partnership with Davidson College.”