Ezra Box, a startup that has proclaimed itself the “Airbnb” for storage, connects Cornell students who need a place to store their belongings with other Cornell students who are either staying in Ithaca or leasing their houses for the summer.
Created by a group of students in the International Students Union aiming to devise a low-cost alternative solution to Cornell’s more expensive option, Ezra Box was initiated in Fall 2015 and first operated last summer.
The company, nearly two years in, is still attached to the union for funding and logistical reasons, but it is in the process of becoming a separate organization.
The company helped 43 Cornellians store 170 boxes last summer, crushing its expectation to transact 50 boxes.
The company’s services saved Cornell students $3,200, co-founder Yash Malhotra ’18 told The Sun. The storage rates are less than half the price of Cornell’s units, Malhotra said.
Student Assembly’s diversity innovation fund also gave $3,600 to the group to develop its website, where those looking to store their belongings can connect with potential hosts.
Malhotra said that while the company has received positive feedback from customers, the Ezra Box team is still working to improve. After students complained they couldn’t move boxes to the host, Ezra Box partnered with JoyRun to transport boxes for Ezra Box customers this summer.
Ezra Box is looking to expand its model to other campuses, founders said, hoping to help other students at universities across the country.
This summer, and in the future, the company plans to “serve more students and provide a cheaper alternative to storage,” Malhotra said.