Young entrepreneur Michael McCreadie’s dream of growing his burgeoning students’ storage service, Kit Keeper, into the UK’s number one supplier, moved a step closer recently following the signing of a four-year contract with York University.
Michael, who studied business management at York, began offering storage services during his time at the university after realising there was a gap in the market for a reliable service specifically tailored for students. Michael’s ambitions were further boosted this year when he received The Young Innovator’s Award from Innovate UK, which will provide additional funds and support in the coming months.
Twenty-six-year-old Michael said, “Over the previous two years I have proved the business model in the city of York. Now I am working on expanding the business full time throughout the UK. There are 2.4 million students in the UK and I would like to leverage our position to serve the growing market. The Young Innovators Award allows me to turn my start-up idea into a living, growing business.”
Kit Keeper enables students to store their belongings securely between terms without the hassle of sourcing their own boxes and organising transport. Students simply order the number of boxes they need using the Kit Keeper website and delivery, collection and storage are all taken care of by the company. Michael initially did all the work himself using a van he bought from Auto Trader, but now transport is sub-contracted to major courier companies such as DPD and secure storage is provided by a national self store chain.
In addition to storage services, Kit Keeper is also able to ship consignments back to students’ homes, both in the UK and overseas. Partnering with national couriers and self store operators has enabled the service to be expanded nationwide and Michael and his team are working hard to forge new relationships with universities across the UK.
While Kit Keeper is not unique, the market for students’ storage services is certainly not saturated and it would seem that the potential for growth is considerable, especially given the ever-increasing student population. For Michael it is still very much early days and there will no doubt be many hurdles along the way; but with his enthusiasm - some would say passion - for the industry, along with the business management skills he gained at university, he has every chance of achieving his goal.
Photo: Michael McCreadie speaking at the York Festival of Ideas Conference.