Sunday, August 26, 2007

Virtual Interview with Social Entrepreneur

YII is launching a virtual interview series with social entrepreneurs.

I will post the answers to the first two questions on the blog; you can find a complete interview transcript on the YII online community (you will have to register to access the interview).

First up is Jim Poss, Founder and CEO of Seahorse Power, which makes the Big Belly Trash Compactor.

Please briefly describe your business.

We make the world’s only solar powered trash compactor. Basically, it’s a trash can that can compact trash automatically to 1/5th of it’s size. This reduces costly and polluting collections by 5X.

How did you come up with the idea for the business?

I always wanted to be an inventor, and I tried many times to make prototypes of things that people wanted (I would test things out on friends and family). In college, I studied environmental science, and “got the bug.” I decided to devote my career to that, since it seemed so important. Years later, I got a job at a small electric vehicle manufacturing company. There, I learned all about motors, gears, batteries, solar panels…all the things that make the BigBelly work. Again, year later, it just hit me – by connecting a battery to a motor to a solar panel, you could compact trash. This would clean up litter and displace expensive garbage truck trips. And guess what, they do.

For more information, including Jim's tips for student entrepreneurs, why he decided to run a social venture, and what resources he found most helpful, visit the YII online community.

1 Comments:

Anonymous StartingBloc said...

Also, if you are in New York the weekend of October 27th you can attend social entrepreneur and social responsibility CareerAccelator...What do Commongood Careers, Idealist, Google, Accion and Echoing Green have in common? They will all be at the CareerAccelerator, a groundbreaking career fair organized by StartingBloc at the NYU Wasserman Center of Professional Development, on October 27! If you are interested in professional opportunities in Social Innovation, don't miss this event, which will also feature panels and an opening Keynote from Ami Dar, founder of Idealist. Register now: just a few spots remain! www.startingbloc.org/careeraccelerator

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