We are happy to announce that we made it to the 2nd round of the Wall Street Journal's Startup of the Year competition! Thanks to our supporters and mentors we can continue using this national platform to champion reuse on a massive scale.
Your continued support helps us keep usable materials out of landfills and in the reuse economy! This means more money for the national network of reuse centers that create jobs, build homes and better their local communities.
Help us stay in the competition and expand the reuse conversation by
Continuing to vote (the tallies have been reset to zero!
Following our blog for entertaining insights on the activities, mentors and the entire process.
We’re lucky to be involved with such an energetic, intelligent, passionate bunch of startups. Watch the video below to see who was eliminated this week and who moves on, as we all compete to be the startup of the year.
I know what you're thinking. Plumbing parts, really? Trust us on this one. Repurposed plumbing parts are the perfect DIY material: they're modern, industrial and effortlessly chic. They tell a message of times past, a stripped down style that is at once functional and beautiful.
Your local reuse center is a flush (ha!) with pipes, fittings, valves and knobs. Check out the projects below, all of which use upcycled metalwork in interesting and intelligent ways, then get to DIYing.
Want even more? Follow us on Pinterest for a riptide of reuse ideas.
July 18, 2013
Some people look at a piece of clay and see a sculpture. Some people look at a shipping container and see three bedrooms and a walk-in kitchen. While these homes, some dreamy, some stunning, some a little whacky do differ widely in many aspects, one is the same: they repurpose materials in amazingly creative ways.
Would you live in an old jumbo jet? Maybe a silo? How about a house made out of mushrooms? These interesting abodes, designed to save natural resources, may just change your mind.
Last week we had the great pleasure of sitting down (digitally) with our Wall Street Journal Startup of the Year mentor, the outstanding Mr. Vivek Wadhwa. Mr. Wadhwa, who has done everything from create software to spin off companies to teach executive-level leadership courses, is an inspiration to anyone involved with a startup, especially in the tech field.
After a brief introduction, we got down to business. Mr. Wadhwa asked us thoughtful, probing questions. He challenged us to expand our thinking on vertical markets, discussed the logistics of the reuse industry and pressed us on our ideas for scalability.
Check out the video below for the entire discussion, and follow the competition on our Wall Street Journal company page. The conversation was very insightful and we learned a lot from the lively exchange. We look forward to continue working with Mr. Wadhwa, a man whose ethical philosophies and viewpoint on work/life balance serves as a role model to entrepreneurs everywhere.
Our first task for the Wall Street Journal Startup of the Year competition threw us off a bit: come up with three new names, logos and taglines for our company. Wait a minute, we thought, didn't we spend weeks at the whiteboard, discussing, drawing and deliberating? Why would we start over from scratch?
RaeAnn, Ryan and I all pitched ideas. We considered them in depth, Nathan and Jarrod pulling out ideas like meatballs out of spaghetti. We compiled the best parts of each idea like a creative club sandwhich (sorry for all the food metaphors, it’s nearly lunch). By the end of the session, we had brand new insights into branding, customer support and market positioning. While we didn’t ultimately decide to change our name or logo, we did gain new perspectives, seeing ourselves, our mission and our impact in a whole new light.
I guess the Wall Street Journal knows what it's doing.
Not long ago, they were thought of as just a way to get in or out of a place, simply an entrance or an exit. And maybe a band. But with the advent of Pinterest, there are a plethora of projects to be made with repurposed doors. From headboards to bookcases, dining tables to desks, a door is the perfect jumping off point for creating something wonderful.
Below are a few of our favorite repurposing projects from around the web. And if you're thirsty for more door ideas, head over to our Pinterest page for a deluge of DIYs. Follow us for a steady stream of upcyling awesomeness.
KCTV5 goes inside PlanetReuse Marketplace with a look into our push to become Wall Street Journal’s Startup of the Year. The article details our mission to make reuse as easy as buying new, and our goal of reducing building material waste from 40% to 30% by 2020. We were honored to be featured on the website as well as
For us, perhaps the most exciting part of competing for The Wall Street Journal’s Startup of the Year is being paired with innovative, successful mentors. We look forward to conversations with entrepreneurs who have shown tremendous courage and intelligence in their approach to creating sustainable businesses. Not just the ones that make money, but a lasting impact in their community and the environment.
Business can be a force for good,” Richard Branson recently said, and it’s a mantra we strive to put into practice every day.
We share Branson’s B Team mission, which encourages companies to take a triple bottom line approach to business, one where people, profits and the planet are all taken into account. And we aim to emulate Case’s disruptive business model, now put into practice through the Case Foundation, which expands civic engagement through technology.
This week it was announced which mentors we would be paired with and we couldn't be more pleased. Who are they? (drum roll please)
Vivek Wadhwa has been creating innovative solutions to complex problems for decades. Before becoming Vice President of Academics and Innovation at Singularity University, he led the development of a tool focused on developing client-server model software for Credit Suisse First Boston, which was spun off into Seer Technologies. A teacher, author, speaker and one of Time magazine's 2013 Top 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech, we are in awe of his creativity, impressed with his commitment to ethics and inspired by his entrepreneurial spirit. We're excited to pick his brain about everything from corporate leadership to creating a harmonious work-life balance.
Carly Fiorina, (named the most powerful woman in business (for SIX consecutive years) will bring a unique view on what it takes to succeed in the tech world. As Chairman of Good360, she takes a common sense approach to charity, funneling surplus merchandize to nonprofit organizations, with an outstanding 99% of funds going directly to programs. We look forward to discussing management, leadership, marketing and a host of other topics.
Alexander Osterwalder, whose innovative business model programs have been used throughout the world, is an expert in helping companies find their core value, ensuring segments, activities and resources are aligned. We can’t wait to brainstorm with him, putting our thought tornados into commonsense, well-laid plans for the future.
In a few short weeks we will have our first (digital) meeting with these business experts. To say we're looking forward to collaborating with these remarkable entrepreneurs is an understatement. But we'll say it anyway. We can't wait!
PlanetReuse Marketplace, along with 23 other promising startups, will participate in a 5-month program, completing branding and business strategy tasks, learning from mentors (Sir Richard Branson, Steve Case and Beth Comstock are on the roster) and documenting our success.
We are honored to be part of a program put on by the prestigious Wall Street Journal, and eager to get outside our comfort zones, develop our creativity and expand our thinking. Oh, and the whole thing is being taped.
Getting camera ready
We’ll have more to announce as the competition progresses, and we hope you’ll tune in to see us represent our company, the amazing Kansas City startup community and the future of reuse.
Are you a reuse center interested in increasing your donations and sales? Let’s talk. Learn more here.
Have you ever been in a room surrounded by dynamic people who are intensely interested in the same topic? The air is different, charged with an energy of a shared passion. That's what DECON13 was like last week. The event, put on by the great folks at the Building Materials Reuse Association (BMRA) was a shot in the arm for those who attended, renewing our excitement about deconstruction that will last us throughout the year.
A highlight of the conference was the presentation of the BMRA awards. The awards, with super fancy, tool-inspired names honored the best and brightest in our field, and I was happy to see many of my friends walk away with accolades that applauded their commitment to building materials reuse.
I was thrilled to win the Brass Grille Award, an award for excellence in reuse or salvage in green building design. Below is a list of the other winners and links to their respective organizations. Check out innovative ways they are approaching sustainable building.