As we all know, success has many fathers, and I won’t claim to be one in this case. That said, I am excited by the progress that YouRenew (aka TwigTek) is making. They appear to be going places. Literally.
In the past week or so they’ve completed their move into 25 Science Park on the same floor as some of Higher One’s offices. I haven’t had a chance to poke my head inside yet, but I’m looking forward to it. Nice to have a start-up as a neighbor. (Just wish that we had more space to grow for Higher One in the building. That’s a story for another time.)
When I first heard about the venture, I have to admit, I was not immediately excited about the business opportunity. Although it was a big market and an important change needed to reuse/recycle, there are/were lots of competitors and potential competitors. Given the business model, I thought that capital tied-up in inventory might be more of an issue than projected and more than many technology investors want these days. (There isn’t much inventory in a software company, for example…)
I was impressed with Rich and Bob. They built relationships with investors over time. They worked hard, followed through and figured out how to get it done with less capital. They were goal-oriented yet flexible enough to hear feedback from customers, prospects and potential investors and change. And their strategy has evolved which is great to see.
Along the way, Top Floor invested (and others did, too, like Launch Capital). Plus, they’ve gotten lots of good press which has been a great marketing tool. Good national press like Business Week Online (America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs) and local press from New Haven Register, or New Haven Independent. And lots of other press mentions including featured in a Yale Alumni Magazine cover article.
Exciting to see a team outgrew the YEI incubator space. And look forward to seeing what comes next.