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HESS Industries Ltd. at the Braintree Business Development Center in Mansfield - Photo Bob Perkoski
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Columbus : Innovation + Job News

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global polymer innovation expo will showcase ohio's industry prominence

Ohio is the leader in the global polymer industry and is among the top states in the country for plastics and rubber production, according to PolymerOhio, Inc.

The Rubber and Plastics Research Association (RAPRA) in Hudson will be showcasing Ohio’s prominence in these areas at its first international polymer conference. The organization is hosting the Global Polymer Innovation Expo (GPIE) at Battelle Hall in Columbus August 26-29. RAPRA is collaborating on the event with regional partners Polymer Ohio and the Ohio Polymer Strategy Council.

“The conference will provide a venue for attendees to discuss and learn about new technology innovations in high-growth polymer sectors,” explains Laura Woods, RAPRA president.

The four-day conference will address critical needs in the polymer industry. According to a RAPRA news release, one of those needs is to accelerate innovations to market, thereby creating jobs through business growth. There will be a focus on introducing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educators to the polymer industry in an effort to address the shortage of skilled workers available to the polymer industry. Another goal is identifying career paths in the polymer industry for veterans, displaced skilled workers and the under-employed.

“Attendees will have an opportunity to gain skills and knowledge to implement the new technologies in their business,” Woods says.” We’ll also announce new product innovations during each opening session.” Woods anticipates 600 attendees. 

The expo will feature a unique one-to-one online networking system available to participants and exhibitors that will remain open after the conference ends for easy follow-up communication.  The conference also includes site visits to prominent industry companies.

According to Woods, “GPIE will provide the international polymer community with resources that will impact its growth for years to come.”


Source:  Laura Woods
Writer: Lynne Meyer

edison welding institute sparks innovative approach to training welders

The Ohio Department of Development has seven Edison Technology Centers located around the state to provide a variety of product and process innovation and commercialization services to both established and early-stage technology-based businesses.

The Edison Welding Institute (EWI) in Columbus is one of those centers.

EWI recently launched a spinoff company – RealWeld Systems, Inc. (RWS) and unveiled its new product – the RealWeld Trainer.

“For about six years, EWI studied the problem of training welders,” explains Bill Forquer, RWS launch ceo. “It’s really hard to train welders effectively and efficiently. It’s a very skilled trade, and most of the training techniques involve an instructor looking over your shoulder and helping you properly position the torch, guiding the angle and advising how fast you should move. It involves a lot of hand eye coordination, as well as reading and interpreting the specifications for the kind of weld needed.”

The RealWeldTrainer provides the solution to the problem, Forquer says. “It’s the first and only training solution available that digitally records motions and objectively scores welding technique while performing real welds under production conditions.”

He likens the equipment to an airplane pilot simulator. “In the case of the RealWeld Trainer, however, the individual is actually welding,” he explains. “There’s a camera system that measures all your hand motions, angles and speed and records whether you’re using proper technique. It provides that data to you immediately on the screen after you’ve made a weld. It also provides consistency in training.”

He points out that, in addition to training, companies can use the equipment to screen welders before hiring them. According to Forquer, the RealWeld Trainer is state of the art. “It’s truly unique and has no competitors.”

The device costs $35,000, and potential customers include manufacturers who hire and train welders as well as vocational schools and labor unions who train welders. “We have half a dozen early adopter customers we’re working with right now who want to see how it works in their environment,” he notes.
 
Source:  Bill Forquer, RealWeld Systems
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

ohio state university receives $3 million for imaging technology platform

In the same week Kent State University was awarded $3 million for their nanoscale engineering project, Ohio State also received $3 million in the first Ohio Third Frontier Innovation Platform program.

The university’s “Next Generation Multi-Modal Molecular Imaging Technology Platform” project aims to advance, develop and validate new imaging modality [a technique used to create images of the human body] into a sustainable and effective medical imaging device that can be cost-effective.

"The goal is to make this an effective, safe and globally viable imaging technology that will benefit patients in the early discovery and characterization of diseases," explains Dr. Michael Knopp, Director of Ohio Imaging Research and Innovation Network. He adds that the group also wants to "catalyze collaboration in technology commercialization, innovation and product development between Ohio’s colleges and universities and Ohio-based industry.”
 
In collaboration with Philips Healthcare and Cardinal Health, Knopp and his team will take the fundamental technology they’ve already developed and bring it to its “full global market potential” by refining it.
 
“The benefit to Ohio will predominantly be in creating an additional commercial product line that is manufactured, developed and serviced in Ohio, by Ohio companies,” he says. “This will also create opportunities for scientific discoveries, improved health care and Ohioans' access to state-of-the-art capabilities."
 
 
Source: Dr. Michael Knopp
Writer: Joe Baur

russian dandelion roots may give bounce to rubber production

The demand for natural rubber will exceed supply by 15 to 20 percent within the next five years, says William Ravlin, Ph.D., associate director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center of The Ohio State University.

“It’s not so much a case of diminishing supply as it is a sharply increased demand for rubber from China and India,” he explains. “The situation in the United States is one of national security, the economy and the growth of major corporations that depend on a sustainable approach to obtaining natural rubber.”

Rubber is used in a wide variety of products made in Ohio, and our traditional manufacturing economy relies upon its continued avaialbility. Slowly but surely, critical research is taking place to identify new sources for this material.

The Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives (PENRA) was formally established in 2012 to help address this problem but, according to Dr. Ravlin, the founding members have been collaborating on it for the past five years. The founding members are Ohio State University, Oregon State University, Bridgestone America, Cooper Tire, Ford Motor Company and Veyance Technologies, an Ohio company. The United States Department of Agriculture, the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Guelph in Canada are also collaborators.

Research scientists involved in PENRA have discovered that the roots of an unlikely candidate – the Russian dandelion – are able to produce rubber that’s comparable to rubber used today. Seeds from USDA expeditions in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been planted in field plots and greenhouses in Wooster, Ohio.

There are many challenges, however. “Planting a huge amount of seeds only nets a small harvest of good ones, so it’s a time-consuming and ongoing process,” Dr. Ravlin notes. “Large amounts of the root material need to be processed at the front end to produce enough natural rubber for industries to conduct large-scale tests. Plus, the rubber must meet exacting standards. Airplane tires, for example, are made of 100 percent natural rubber.”

PENRA funding sources include a grant from the OSU Ohio Research and Development Center and the Third Frontier program, with additional support from Bridgestone America, Cooper Tire and Veyance Technologies.

“We have 20 senior research scientists, each with several employees, working on this project,” Dr. Ravlin says. “We’ve completed the construction of a pilot processing plant in Wooster, and we’re in the midst of a testing phase that’s progressing very well.”


Source:  William Ravlin, P.h.D., Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

zyvex technologies makes materials lighter yet stronger through nanotechnology

Lightweight yet strong.  Those two characteristics could come in mighty handy for a number of things.

Zyvex Technologies of Columbus knows a lot about making things lighter yet stronger.   It’s the first company to globally commercialize nano-enhanced products from carbon nanotubes. To the layperson, this innovation is part of a materials revolution that is helping to make stuff we use more fuel-efficient.

“A carbon nanotube is a tiny cylinder of carbon, just a few atoms wide and 1/50,000th the thickness of a human hair,” explains Mike Nemeth, director of commercial and defense applications. “Our product – Arovex – uses carbon nanotubes and carbon fiber together. It acts as a reinforcement for materials you mix it with.” He described Arovex like a fruit rollup.  “It’s a tacky sheet that customers can lay into molds and then make parts.”

Zyvex recently partnered with Pacific Coast Marine (PCM), a leader in marine closures, to develop a set of 30 doors, hatches and other closures for boats. “They’re all 66 percent lighter and eight times stronger than the standard ones,” says Nemeth. PCM recently debuted the items at a marine show with positive results.

“There’s a big demand for making things that are lighter and stronger, which can improve safety and fuel efficiency,” Nemeth notes. He lists the aerospace and automotive industries as examples. “It’s helpful for sporting goods, too. A good example is super lightweight mountain bike wheels. We have a new partnership to provide a bicycle rim specifically for downhill mountain biking.” 

Zyvex uses two Ohio manufacturers, one in Akron and one in Dayton, so its products are all Ohio made and assembled. Zyvex has 40 employees and received Third Frontier funding in 2009.
 
Source:  Mike Nemeth, Zyvex Technologies
Writer:  Lynne Meyer
 

inaugural innovation engine strives to build digital media presence in ohio

Business is bound to boom for Central and Southeast Ohio. Digital media entrepreneurs from Columbus, Middleport and Athens will have access to $20,000 in seed funding as part of Ohio University’s inaugural Innovation Engine at the Innovation Center.
 
“The Innovation Engine is part of a series of new initiatives, including the development of a digital media incubator at the Innovation Center, designed to address the surge of digital media entrepreneurs emerging from Ohio University and throughout the region,” explains Jennifer Simon, director of the Innovation Center.
 
The boot camp is the result of a variety of partnerships with other innovative programs, such as the College of Communication’s Game Research & Immersive Design laboratory (GRIDLab) and TechGROWTH Ohio. Simon also credits successful models across the country, such as Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator and Ohio State’s 10xelerator as inspiration.
 
Innovation Engine’s inaugural class was selected “based on the potential for follow-on investment within six months following the program,” says Simon. Participants will gain access to seminars, networking opportunities and dozens of hours of mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts.
 
Innovation Engine 2012
  • Flashcrop, a mobile application designed to make digital flash cards for students by taking pictures of notes, glossaries and study guides and turning those images into note cards.
  • Initio Creative aims to be a pioneer in media production by providing solutions for customers based on current markets.
  • Lightborne Lore is a digital games and animation company focusing iOS and Android content.
  • Brandbeau is a mobile app that allows for real-time analytics for brand ambassador campaigns.
  • Affine Technologies offers network consulting and support services, custom software and programming, and computer engineering.
  • Parabox is a small game development company selected as an alternate for the program. If any of the other teams are unable to participate, they will replace that team and receive investment funds.
Participating companies agree to stay in the state of Ohio for three years or pay back the $20,000. “We want these companies to succeed. But, we have additional goals – growing jobs and wealth in Ohio.”


Source: Jennifer Simon
Writer: Joe Baur

new crowdfunding website fundable dot com helps startups raise capital

Thanks to crowdfunding, entrepreneurs have a new tool in their arsenal for raising startup capital. Columbus-based Fundable.com is a crowdfunding platform that focuses exclusively on startup companies.

“We’re the first crowdfunding platform to support rewards and equity-based funding [specifically for startups],” explains founder and CEO Wil Schroter. “We help startups raise capital by connecting them to a large network of potential backers who pledge money toward their project.”

Startups must complete rigorous requirements to be selected for the site. “They have to create a profile, including a pitch video, explain their goals and state the target amount they’re seeking. Fundraisers run from 30-60 days, and they must meet or exceed the stated goal or no funds are collected from the backers."

Schroter explains that, “As of right now, you can’t actually publicly offer equity to non-accredited investors.” The reason is because the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has yet to provide guidelines for the new JOBS act.

Instead, backers receive gifts. “We’re focused on value for value.  If you’re asking people for money, you have to provide something in return that’s of value, which could be a product. Many backers appreciate the rewards but are also motivated by their connection to the start-up concept or to the entrepreneurs themselves."

Shroter points to a recent success story. “Training Mask, LLC, had a small, fast goal of $10,000 that it needed to ramp up production for its second-generation of a training mask that simulates working out at high altitudes. The money was raised in 72 hours, and backers will get a discounted new mask and a special t-shirt. The company now has the money it needs to move forward."

"There’s really no way to raise that kind of money in 30 days,” says Shroter. “We have a huge, interested audience.”

Fundable.com began operations on May 22, has 22 employees and 20 startups posted.


Source:  Wil Shroter, Fundable.com
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

surgeon invents scope to provide clear view during laparoscopic surgeries

After 22 years as a surgeon at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Wayne Poll, M.D., turned in his surgical scrubs to become an inventor and entrepreneur. 

The former urologist, who did mostly laparoscopic surgeries, wanted to tackle an equipment problem that he – and his fellow surgeons – repeatedly encountered with laparoscopes.

“Hospitals pay millions of dollars for high-definition video systems, but surgeons don’t get the clear image they need,” he explains. “Fat, blood and water particles settle on the lens. Surgeons have to pull the laparoscope out of the patient and manually clean the lens about ten times every hour.”

Poll knew there had to be a better way, and he set out to create it. He established Minimally Invasive Devices, Inc. in 2007 with two employees. “For ten years, I tried going to companies with my ideas,” he recalls. He was constantly frustrated. Things started to happen when he won a business plan competition sponsored by Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

He subsequently received help from TechColumbus, a technology business incubator serving a 15-county area in Central Ohio. Dr. Poll raised $200,000 in start-up capital and also received $2.4 million in angel funds, a portion of which came from funds supported by the Ohio Third Frontier program.

His invention – FloShield – received FDA approval, and about 600 of the devices were sold. The FloShield has air flowing around the end of the scope to blow away debris and provide a clear image of the surgical site. Surgeries can be performed more safely and in less time, he notes, which benefits patients, surgeons and hospitals.

Dr. Poll subsequently created FloShield PLUS.  “It uses the same invisible air curtain to protect the lens from floating debris, but it also has a saline solution that flushes fat off the lens.”

Approximately 30 facilities are using FloShield PLUS, which is manufactured and assembled in Franklin, Ohio. The company has 14 employees.


Source:  Wayne Poll
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

ohio STEM learning network receives $50k grant from walmart foundation

The Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) recently received a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.  STEM refers to the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to supporting overall OSLN operations, the funding will be used to facilitate the launch of new STEM schools in rural Ohio, including an academy that focuses on biosciences. Battelle, a global research and development organization in Columbus, supports and manages the OSLN.

According to Courtney Howard Hodapp, program manager of education and STEM learning at Battelle, Senator Chris Widener of Springfield and his staff have been working closely with Battelle, the OSLN and The Ohio State University to develop a bioscience high school to be located in or around Springfield.

“The school will work in partnership with Ohio State, much like the Metro Early College High School in Columbus, to provide learning opportunities, such as research, internships and classes, for students,” she explains. The school is still in the early planning stages.

“This grant from Walmart will allow the OSLN to continue to support the development of high-quality STEM schools across the state of Ohio,” Hodapp states. “We are able to assist with planning and curriculum development, not only for the Springfield biosciences school, but for other schools around the state in the start-up phase.”

Metro Early College High School was established in 2006 as a partnership among Battelle, The Ohio State University and the Education Council, which represents Franklin County’s 16 school districts.

“Metro’s first class of seniors graduated in 2010,” Hodapp says. “One hundred percent of seniors graduate and are accepted into college.” Metro was the first STEM school, both in Ohio and nationwide, and has become a model for STEM schools in Ohio and the United States.

The Ohio STEM Learning Network was developed by Battelle and the Ohio Business Roundtable -- with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the State of Ohio and other partners and stakeholders -- as the nation’s first-ever statewide network for STEM education.
 

Source: Courtney Howard Hodapp
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

statewide conference highlights polymer industry's growth across ohio

Polymers are big business in Ohio. According to Wayne Earley, CEO of PolymerOhio,  “Ohio is definitely a leader in the production and use of polymers.” According to its website, PolymerOhio is an Ohio Edison Technology Center focused on “enhancing the Ohio polymer industry company's global competitiveness and growth.”

Earley’s comments came on the eve of the two-day Ohio Polymer Summit, which was held June 6-7 in Columbus and attended by more than 150 people from throughout Ohio. This was the Ninth Annual Biennial Ohio Polymer Summit.

A presentation on innovation engineering leadership was one of the summit highlights, according to Earley. There was also a segment on shale gas and its impact on Ohio’s polymer industry. “Shale gas is very significant to our industry here in Ohio by lowering energy costs and also lowering the cost of basic polymer materials,” he explains.

Another important session was the introduction of the new computational methods program. “Small- and medium-size companies can’t afford to acquire the software needed for such things as mold design and extruder simulation,” Earley says. “With the assistance of a federal grant, Polymer Ohio is now making these tools available to smaller companies.” 

The polymer industry is Ohio’s largest manufacturing industry, he states. “More than 130,000 people are employed in Ohio’s polymer industry. It’s a growing industry here.

There’s high growth in several specific segments, including conductive and electronic polymer materials, polymer nanocomposites, biomaterials and feed stocks and recyclable polymers.”

Earley points out that polymers aren’t just plastic. “They’re also in adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and composites of other materials.”

He says that Ohio is the world leader in compounding of polymers – combining different materials to achieve a set of specifications. PolyOne in Avon Lake is the state’s largest compounder, according to Earley. “They’re successful because they have the technology and the capabilities to develop materials and compounds that are specific to certain important applications. They’re also very innovative,” he adds.

Source:  Wayne Earley, PolymerOhio, Inc.
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

50 ohio companies receive export assistance from ohio department of development program

More than 50 Ohio companies have received export assistance from the Ohio Department of Development’s International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE) program.
 
“The Office of Business Assistance leads the initiative to strengthen Ohio’s exporting economy and advance its leadership position in the global marketplace,” says Assistant Deputy Chief of Export Assistance, Wesley Aubihl. “Specifically, export assistance strives to increase international sales of Ohio-made goods and services, creating more and better jobs for Ohioans.”
 
Designed to increase exports and create jobs, IMAGE helps companies promote their products and services in new international markets. Best of all, IMAGE will reimburse companies a maximum of $6,000 or 50 percent on qualifying expenditures up to $12,000 for activities associated with new international marketing initiatives, such as trade shows and foreign marketing material translation.
 
Airstream Inc., developers of lightweight travel trailers in Jackson Center, is just one example of a company that has taken off (no pun intended) thanks to assistance from IMAGE grant funds. Explains Aubihl, “[The funds] offset the costs of participating in a State of Ohio-Council of Great Lakes Governors trade mission to Brazil. The trade mission enabled Airstream to meet potential key customers in the Brazilian market.”

Justin Humphreys, Vice President of Sales at Airstream, has credited the Ohio Department of Development with playing a special role in their ability to meet with key players in Brazil to assess the potential of doing business abroad.
 
Aubihl is hopeful a slew of Ohio businesses will follow in Airstream’s footsteps and experience similar international success. “Since the program began in January, the Ohio Department of Development has awarded 15 trade mission stipends, supported 37 international trade shows, 10 U.S. Commercial Service projects, 20 translations of websites or printed materials, and three export education activities,” he explains. “The participating companies have reported more than $5 million in actual export sales, with additional sales expected over the next 12 months."


Source: Wesley Aubihl
Writer: Joe Baur

commuter advertising expands market share from dayton headquarters

The founders of Commuter Advertising – wife Katie Hill and husband Russell Gottesman --  came up with the idea for their company while going home from a White Sox game on the “L” train in Chicago.

“We were approaching the stop for Chinatown and thought it would be a good idea to have a 10- or 20-second audio message there to get people into the restaurants,” recalls Hill.

Hill was with an ad agency and Gottesman worked at a company that sells traffic reports to radio stations. “He was familiar with short, quick audio segments, and I was in advertising, so coming up with the concept was a blend of both our backgrounds,” she notes.

Commuter Advertising produces audio announcements over bus and train sound systems. The announcements advertise products, services and sales of companies located near the bus or train stops. That means advertising messages can be timed to match the location of advertisers, and special promotions can be tailored to passengers.

Hill and Gottesman landed their first contract in 2008 with the Greater Dayton RTA. “They had a request for proposals out at the time,” Hill says. “It was for traditional print advertising, but they were open to other ideas.” 

The couple moved from Chicago to Dayton and have several patents for their concept. They’ve  expanded their market share to reach 100 million riders per year in Toledo, Ohio; Chicago and Champaign, Illinois; Seattle, Washington; Kansas City, Missouri; Rockland County, New York; and Jacksonville, Florida.

According to Hill, the ads cost $250 to $300 per location per month. “That’s typically about 4,000 plays a month of 10- to 20-second audio messages and a scrolling ticker at the front of the vehicle,” she says. “We professionally produce all the ads, and they can contain music, special effects, a variety of voices and languages.”

Very importantly, the transit authorities share in the profits and receive much-needed revenue. “Passengers benefit because this helps keep the cost of fares stable,” Hill notes.

Commuter Advertising has received financial assistance from the Ohio Third Frontier. They’ve expanded from a staff of two to 22 and plan to hire more employees by the end of the year.


Source: Katie Hill, Commuter Advertising
Writer: Lynne Meyer


venueseen allows restaurant owners to capture, analyze social media reviews

Getting real-time feedback from customers via social media might be very valuable for restaurant owners. Thanks to VenueSeen, which launched on April 17, that information is now easily available to them.

VenueSeen shows restaurant owners who is saying what about their business on FourSquare, Instagram, Foodspotting and other social media websites. The software also aggregates any photos that are taken at the restaurant.

Family or friends dining out might take a photo and make a positive comment or give the venue a big thumbs down. What diners post may present a marketing opportunity or the need to remedy an unpleasant dining experience.

“Photos and comments form a brand’s social identity,” explains Brian Zuercher, ceo of FlyMuch, the parent company of VenueSeen. “What we’re offering is original content and photos to restaurant owners. It’s good to be aware of what’s being said about your business, and photos add visual content.”
 
According to Zuercher, VenueSeen gathers what’s posted about a restaurant on those three social platforms so that the owners can see, track, analyze, connect and compare the information in a meaningful way. “Owners can use this content to help them have a consistent message communicated across the board,” he notes. “The information can also help them collect feedback, show appreciation, respond to suggestions and interact with their customers online.”

FlyMuch began in the consumer travel industry. Based on feedback gleaned from its experiences in that field, the company launched VenueSeen for restaurants.  VenueSeen's clients currently include some independent restaurants, the Macaroni Grill restaurant chain and a food store in London.

FlyMuch has three full-time and two contract employees and plans to hire five more full-time employees by the end of 2012. The company has received funding from the Ohio TechAngels Fund.


Source:  Brian Zuercher
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

one exchange street appears set to reshape bankruptcy marketplace

Two budding Central Ohio entrepreneurs have identified a problem in the bankruptcy marketplace and  developed a streamlined solution -- a new company called One Exchange Street.

One Exchange Street is an online bankruptcy claims trading engine that Todd Zoha and Sean O’Riordan established in January of this year. The startup company is designed to be a one-stop shop for both buyers and sellers of bankruptcy claims.

While working together in the turnaround and restructuring advisory unit of a global business consulting firm, Zoha and O’Riordan noticed something critical.

“We were working on the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and saw how the marketing for unsecured bond positions was very transparent and liquid,” explains Zoha, President and CEO of the company. “We wondered why there wasn’t that same kind of transparency and liquidity for other types of bankruptcy claims, specifically general unsecured claims and administrative claims.”

Buyers of bankruptcy claims are generally sophisticated about the process, he notes. “If you’re a claims seller, however, you’re getting all these calls and contacts from buyers, and you have no way to evaluate whether the price you’re being offered is fair and reasonable,” Zoha says. “This is a big problem for sellers.”

With One Exchange Street, Zoha and O’Riordan have opened up and streamlined the process for bankruptcy market participants. “Claims sellers can list their claims and see recent transaction amounts for similar claims,” Zoha explains. They can also see prices at which bidders are willing to buy. “An important advantage we offer is that all members on our exchange agree to transact using a standardized claim transfer agreement. This enables real-time execution of transactions. These two things differentiate us from our competitors."

There are advantages for buyers of bankruptcy claims as well. “First, we’re a source of information for them about claims sellers,” Zoha says. “Buyers can also aggregate and buy multiple claims at once. Finally, buyers can turn around and sell a claim to other institutional buyers.”

Zoha and O’Riordan raised approximately $600,000 from friends and family for their startup and received a $300,000 investment from TechColumbus in April.

Source:  Todd Zoha, One Exchange Street
Writer:  Lynne Meyer

e-Cycle launches campaign to promote responsible mobile reuse and recycling

The Central Ohio-based company e-Cycle wants you and your business to understand the importance of responsibly recycling your mobile devices.
 
“A lot of our clients don’t even know that they might be sitting on a goldmine,” says Founder and CEO Christopher Irion, who launched the campaign after receiving feedback from corporate leaders who were unaware a company like his existed. “If a company has 1,000 used blackberries, that could be worth $50,000 of access to sensitive corporate information.”
 
Irion wants e-Cycle’s current and prospective clients to know there is a solution to safely disposing sensitive information. “e-Cycle will not only pay you for all the used devices, but also make sure that all your personal and corporate information is deleted from the devices.”

Best of all, they’re able to do so in an environmentally friendly manner. “The last thing we want any individual or corporation to do is get rid of these devices by disposing them in a trash can, because of the environmental risks associated with it.” All mobile phones are shredded at their facility with the shredded materials recycled in an ISO Certified, EPA-registered facility where the materials are reclaimed for reuse.
 
e-Cycle has been hosting events with current partners and targeting prospective clients through email and marketing campaigns to help spread the good word. The response from the business community has been strong. With over 14,000 corporate customers, e-Cycle is continuing to grow.

“Based on the amount of phones we’ve received from this initiative, this will be the best month in company history,” explains Irion. “We’re really excited about not only this month, but obviously the impact this is having on our future business.”


Source: Christopher Irion
Writer: Joe Baur
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