Entrepreneur Sam Chason earns spot in Winston Starts

Winston-Salem incubator partners with Wake Forest to build strong businesses

Business and enterprise management major and 2020 grad Sam Chason has been awarded a Deac Fast Pass to Winston Starts, a startup incubator dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurs and helping them develop and scale their business ideas.

Business and enterprise management major and 2020 grad Sam Chason has been awarded a Deac Fast Pass to Winston Starts, a startup incubator dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurs and helping them develop and scale their business ideas.

Launched in his first year at Wake Forest, Chason’s Storage Scholars business not only landed him the coveted spot in Winston Starts, it also allowed him to graduate from Wake Forest debt-free.

Early in his college career, Chason saw that some students were unable to, or preferred not to, take their belongings back and forth from campus to home and back again each year. In response, Storage Scholars was born. The company provides boxes for students to pack their belongings before exams, then after finals, picks them up to either store them or ship them to an off-campus address. When students come back to campus the following year, their belongings are waiting in their room for them on move-in day.

Hailey Brooke McFadden ('18) manages marketing for Storage Scholars.

Hailey Brooke McFadden (’18) manages marketing for Storage Scholars.

“Working with a college or university to have access to dorms has differentiated us from other services,” Chason said. “At the start of a new academic year, we deliver the belongings to the dorm room before the student arrives on campus. I hire students from the school where we are packing and storing. For example, the team of workers at Wake Forest knows our campus and, in many cases, know the students they are helping move in or out of their dorms. There’s a personal connection at each campus we serve.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest nominated Chason for the award, which allows the winner to bypass the formal admission process into Winston Starts. The incubator provides space in downtown Winston-Salem, where companies in all stages of development can collaborate and share creative ideas. Entrepreneurs accepted to the program receive professional mentors and training that help them to grow their businesses.

“Throughout his college career, Sam demonstrated the ability to generate scalable entrepreneurial ideas and, more importantly, showed the day in and day out hustle required to turn these ideas into promising ventures,” said Dan Cohen, director of the Entrepreneurship Center.

“My goal is to employ student workers to enable them to pay college expenses and loans just as I have done. Offering this opportunity – that’s what really keeps me getting up every morning.” Sam Chason ('20), founder of Storage Scholars

Chason, an entrepreneur from his first childhood lemonade stand, was determined to have the educational experience he most wanted. His parents, both high school teachers, offered to pay for a state school in New York for each of their three children. Chason chose Wake Forest with the understanding he would cover the cost difference. 

“The first thing I did when I came to Winston-Salem was figure out how much money I would have to earn over four years to graduate debt-free,” he said.

Having launched Storage Scholars on several college campuses, he hopes during his time at Winston Starts to develop relationships with 40 to 50 schools with 15% of students at each school using his service.

“I love building the business. My goal is to employ student workers to enable them to pay college expenses and loans just as I have done. Offering this opportunity – that’s what really keeps me getting up every morning.

Categories: Student, Top Stories