With this post we want to kick-off a candid and informative series about our Frankfurt Storage start up journey with SaveSpace. A look at all our highs and lows – for anyone interested in our progress or founding in general.
So let’s begin with why we even wanted to start… We were super excited to launch SaveSpace in Frankfurt in April 2021, but the idea and a lot of work came before that.
The problem that started it all
The idea really started all the way back in 2015 when SaveSpace co-founder Kelvin moved into his student dorm for his bachelor’s degree in Frankfurt am Main at the Goethe University.
It was a 6-person student dorm located directly on campus, with tiny 10m2 rooms, a communal kitchen, and 2 bathrooms.
I (Charlotte), the other co-founder, was already living in one of the other 5 rooms for over a year. So, that’s where we met and became friends.
We both had a lot of stuff (surprisingly Kelvin even more than me). And as you can imagine, at 10m2 the rooms didn’t exactly provide much storage space.
We had guest mattresses leaned against the wall in the corridor, suitcases parked behind our doors and desks, and clothes everywhere. Especially things like guest mattresses and suitcases were particularly annoying as we only needed them every few months. Meanwhile, they were just in the way and collecting dust.
Both Kelvin and I were also gone months at a time for either a semester abroad or internships in other cities. During this time the questions always came up – Do we sublet our rooms? If we do, what do we do with all our stuff?
- Option 1) Bring it to family and friends. This included not only annoying them big time, but also having to lug our things there and back. Not ideal.
- Option 2) Pay for self-storage. This included a hefty price, and still also lugging our things back and forth.
Not owning a big car also didn’t lend itself to both options. So, what did we do? We just decided not to sublet and ended up paying for the time we were gone. Annoying.
The idea formation
This was really the time where Kelvin started to think about how great it would be to have self-storage that was practical and accessible for everyone, even students. That meant pick-up and re-delivery would be included at a better price point. And I agreed.
But at that point it just stayed a start of an idea. We didn’t really think about turning it into a business.
After my bachelor’s degree I went on to do my Masters in Berlin and in Paris. And let me tell you Parisian apartments are amazing for storage space – just kidding. And then my first apartment when starting to work in Zürich was also no castle… As you can see the theme of cramped spaces didn’t leave me after my time in Frankfurt.
Kelvin, deciding to start a second degree in Physics, also stayed in the same dorm room and put up with the small space. After uni he spent some time pursuing his interest in politics as well as coding on a freelancer basis. Surprisingly he also settled in Zürich moving in with another friend.
Turning the idea into SaveSpace
That’s how we both ended up back in the same city, exactly when the pandemic hit. Corona meant a lot of change, and that included a lot more free time.
So, we took the opportunity and early 2021 started on turning the initial idea from our Frankfurt dorm rooms into an actual start up, SaveSpace. A storage company that would stand out from the complex, expensive and inconvenient traditional industry – by offering a full-service, digital-first and affordable experience.
And as Frankfurt was the birthplace, it felt right to launch there.
Not only is it the birthplace, but it is a city with many students, internationals, small apartments, furnished apartments and just a general lack of space. Therefore, a lot of people who we thought would appreciate SaveSpace.
We got to work on evenings and weekends until we were ready to launch and commit to working full-time on SaveSpace end of April. Since then, it’s been a lot of hard work, fun, learnings, ups and downs, but one thing has been constant – it feels great to have turned something that started out as a thought into something real.
We want to take everyone on our SaveSpace start up journey with us who is interested.
So while this blog is here to also provide helpful tips and tricks around storage, we will also post regularly on our experience starting a company.
Kelvin and I both always wanted to start our own company and we want to help shed some light on how the process looks like, at least for us. So, check back to this space to keep up to date or sign up to our newsletter if you are interested.
If you have any questions, you can also shoot us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time!