MakeSpace: Cloud Storage for Physical Things

MakeSpace is capitalizing on the rising global trend of urbanization and micro-living and is poised to make a big impact on the storage industry.

It’s effectively cloud storage for physical things.

MakeSpace works online or over the phone.   Schedule a pickup, and they bring storage boxes right to your door.  Pack the boxes and they’ll come pick them up.  Then, you’ll get access to an online catalogue of what you stored, and you can get it delivered back to you back with a few clicks.

“Now, without ever having to leave the comfort of your home, you can quickly ‘download’ your skis for a last-minute ski trip, or ‘upload’ Christmas decorations to make room for beach towels and summer gear,” says MakeSpace CEO and University of Virginia alum Sam Rosen (B.S. in Commerce ‘07).

After Hurricane Sandy, Rosen formulated the idea for MakeSpace after he experienced distress using typical self-storage.  Sam previously worked in corporate banking and marketing, but he had been laying the groundwork for his own business since being a part of Upfront Ventures (a powerful VC firm) as their first Entrepreneur in Residence.  Prior to his position as EIR for Upfront Ventures, he’d co-founded SpeakerGram Inc. and Scaffold.

Currently living in Manhattan, he uses MakeSpace to store his hockey bag, childhood photo albums, school yearbooks, and his hiking gear.

Sam notes that he learned a lot from previous work.  “My previous experience in sales at Vector Marketing taught me the importance of perseverance.  A large part of my annual salary was based on commission. I learned early on to never get discouraged.  My biggest takeaway was “the person who gets the most yes’s also gets the most no’s.”

Sam tells young entrepreneurs that they “should be thinking of two things:  What idea they want to work on (but stay in school and graduate first), and finding the people you want to work with on the idea.”

He was inspired by other UVA alums, Alexis Ohanian, who co-founded Reddit, and Sam Shank, who founded Hotel Tonight.   “I constantly try to meet other UVA alums working in startups. It’s a much smaller community than say banking, media, consulting, or politics. I think it’s important for our alumni to be accessible to one another, especially since the overall alumni community is already very tight knit.”

Having grown from 5 to 50 employees within the year, MakeSpace has quickly made a name for itself.  They’ve recently expanded their operations nationwide, and are definitely on the list of startups to watch in 2015.


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