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Startups Client Spotlight: Roo

A Conversation with Eric Laurent of Roo

 

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The idea for Roo sparked when one of the founders, Eric Laurent, struggled to find somewhere to store his apartment belongings during a two-week gap in his lease.

How is your company innovating in your industry?

The $39 billion storage industry makes its profit by throwing up buildings with a few size options, staffing the place with as few people as necessary, and luring customers into contracts. Roo, on the other hand, provides an innovative solution that grants a level of affordability and convenience that is impossible for facilities to match. By connecting local community members with people in need of storage, we eliminate almost all overhead in a manner that actually gives more variety, higher quality, and lower prices. Our innovation also allows for dispersion of economic benefit and utilization of existing space.

What makes St. Louis a great location for startups and innovation?

With the concentration of experienced entrepreneurs in organizations like Arch Grants, Capital Innovators, etc. St. Louis has a rich history of invention and innovation. Especially in recent years, the commitment to tech investment specifically draws our company to the city. With a plethora of experienced entrepreneurs available to connect with and draw from, we knew that St. Louis could provide us with the opportunity to learn and grow in our roles as young business professionals. Plus, the majority of our founding team calls St. Louis home. That alone gives us a reason to make it our permanent home.

What does "innovation" mean to you?

We define innovation as the ability to make progress, incrementally or extensively on a product and/or service in a manner that is meaningful and useful for people. The meaningfulness of innovation actualizes through the demonstrable impact that that progress has on people’s lives. Technology such as cell phones, for example, did not hold value because of the materials used to create them, but because they allowed people to connect in an extremely unprecedented way at the time of their creation. Innovation is a tangible display of creativity, constantly challenging the boundaries of society.

How has Husch Blackwell helped you accomplish your goals?

Husch Blackwell has helped us immensely by embracing the unique space we operate in. As a sharing economy business, the law often lags behind the situations that may arise because of our unusual business model. Husch understands that business model and the needs that accompany it; they help us to protect both our company and our customers and to guide us through the possibilities down the road.

Why did you choose Husch Blackwell?

We chose Husch Blackwell for its willingness to navigate the waters of the sharing economy as well as its friendliness and support for entrepreneurship. Husch’s size provides us with a large variety of services that caters to the needs of our company across the board. We have access to excellent law advice in many different areas that we know we need both now and in the future. Finally, Husch's reputation speaks for itself and grants us access to a network of highly experienced and helpful individuals in St. Louis.

What were you looking for in a law firm?

We sought a law firm that understood the need for adaptation to technology thanks to the rapid evolution of innovative new products and services. Roo needed a firm willing to work on forming solutions to unusual or unprecedented issues with a sense of creativity and confidence. We wanted people who clearly valued their relationships with their clients and provided sound advice and quality work.

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Read Roo's story
 

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