Is there a mound of old cell phones piling up in your drawer? Probably, right? The statistics are staggering. There are more than 2.4 billion cell phone users in the world. And the average American buys a new cell phone every 18 months. Those numbers make for a lot of used cell phones. Hopefully, you recycle the old devices. But more than likely, you don’t know what to do with them.
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That’s where a new company called YouRenew dials in. You Renew is an online platform that buys your old electronics, then refurbishes and sells them. The founders, 22-year-old Bob Casey and 23-year-old Rich Littlehale, are both still students at Yale University, but that’s not stopping these bright whippersnappers.
Since launching in the summer of 2008, they’ve already raised over a million dollars from a venture-capital firm and got a well-regarded executive to step into the role of CEO.
Recycling and remarketing electronics, they believe, is the wave of the future. They’re just thrilled to be part of the innovation. “We’re really excited to be at the forefront of offering solutions to consumers," said Casey.
Six Shooter with Bob Casey and Rich Littlehale of YouRenew
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1. What is the biggest misconception about starting a business?
It's very different having an idea about something than actually building it. Building and scaling a company always takes about three times longer.
2. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made so far?
In the early days, not being patient enough to see a program all the way.
3. What are some tips you’ve learned in starting this business?
Find mentors and older and more successful business people to glean advice from.
4. What characteristics do you think a successful entrepreneur needs to have?
Ability to handle the ups and downs (read stress), but remain focused.
5. How did you know you had a market?
We thought about how many old electronics we had at home and compared that to larger market statistics from reputable organizations like the EPA.
6. What do you wish you had more of: time or money and why?
I think we're actually in a good spot in both. I guess you could say more of both always help, but it's not realistic and better to focus on driving ahead with what you have.
Twice a month, FOX Business profiles up-and-comers with stories that can help you build a better small business—or inspire you to start one. From renting hot rods to creating a socially-conscious record label to building a business entirely from waste, Young Guns runs the gamut of startups with vision and verve.