But a new entrepreneur on the block is already reaping the benefits of choosing the road less travelled. One man junk, is another mans treasure.
Recycling Waste Platform
28 year old Allison Carmen’s Material Mix began operations in June and she says its helping waste and recycling professionals reduce operating expenses and recover investment on inventory via a dynamic, web-based, customer regulated exchange platform with supply chain management tools.
She adds that Material Mix saves time and money in a sustainable way.
Problem She is Solving
According to her blog, the Material Mix software features a disruptive technology that commoditizes the trade of reusable materials within the current waste collection industry. It promises to tailor materials management solution to meet firm’s unique needs. Material Mix connects businesses with excess, undervalued reusable byproducts; and those who seek materials for use as an input in their own production process. This partnerships will help find innovative ways to market firm’s reusable materials.
$13.2 Billion Market Opportunity
According to Carmen, “Each year US manufacturers pay to dispose of 176 million tons of waste, 34% of which is reusable. The online trade of these recoverable materials represents an unrealized $13.2 billion market opportunity.”
Her business model is simple, it features a disruptive technology that commoditizes the trade of industrial byproducts within the current waste collection industry via a web-based, customer-regulated platform where businesses may create a personalized waste management dashboard, receive updates on available material, post their own reusable byproduct for auction, and search for a transportation solutions.
The portal just in its initial beta has already achieved regional traction and also getting international attention.
Carmen says Material Mix is a Capital Innovators and Arch Grants partner, and Clean Tech Open Semifinalist. The firm has also received partner services from Polsinelli Shughart, Jones and Watkins, Stone Carlie, GoBrandGo, and Elasticity.
But her success did not come to her in a dream. Born in Oregon, she worked in sustainable resource management in California’s public sector and was in the tough Construction and Demolition recovery.
Waste to Energy Experience
She adds that in San Diego, she was responsible for commenting on Environmental Impact Reports, coordinating with city planners, and drafting specs for best practices in C&D recovery/diversion. In this position, Allison also advised the board on waste to energy (W2E) technologies to extend landfill capacity. She says that projects there in San Diego were required to recycle over 75% of materials.
She is currently a member of the USGBC Advocacy Committee which works with the state and local leaders to promote green building and she has also consulted with the US Green Building Council on quantifying the financial benefits of LEED building.
Role of College Education
Unlike many founders who have made it without much college education. She says that her education might have played a great role in getting her where she is today.
In 2009, Allison received a BS in Biology from San Diego State University with a bias in environmental policy and ecology, and a certification under NAUI as a Dive Master and CSU underwater researcher.
Then in May 2011, she earned an M.B.A. from Saint Louis University with an emphasis in sustainability and entrepreneurship and served as GA for the Ethics and Sustainability Department.
Play is Important
She also enjoys her free time too. Allison is an avid amateur photographer, NAUI dive master, and active member of the Missouri Gateway Chapter USGBC’s Advocacy Committee. She is also proud past Girl Scout Silver Award recipient, coordinator for Join the Impact (a California-based coalition for equal rights), and foster parent with the California chapter of Pitbull Rescue.
The firm has applied and set to launch at DEMO this fall.