Tom Szaky is founder and Chief Executive Officer of TerraCycle (www.terracycle.com), a company that enables consumers to collect (typically at no cost) traditionally non-recyclable waste, from used juice pouches to used cigarettes. The collected material is then reused, upcycled or recycled into thousands of various products and materials. TerraCycle has won over 200 environmental and social awards for its work.
In 2003, as a sophomore, Tom left Princeton University to found TerraCycle, building a company that has grown in size every year since its inception (making the Inc 500 list for the fast growing companies in America three times). Tom has personally won over 50 awards for entrepreneurship, blogs for Treehugger, Huffington Post, the New York Times and a number of other major websites and in 2007 published his first book entitled "Revolution in a Bottle.” Tom is also the star of the National Geographic Channel TV show, "Garbage Moguls" and is publishing his second book "Outsmart Waste" in late 2013.
Today TerraCycle, through partnerships with virtually all major CPG companies from Kimberly-Clark to Kraft Foods, operates in over 23 countries, has over 40 million people engaged in its waste collection programs, has collected over 5 billion pieces of non-recyclable waste and in the process donated over $8 million dollars to charities to collect that waste. TerraCycle has been featured in virtually every major media outlet from "60 Minutes" to Oprah to the Wall Street Journal and is on it’s way to help us eliminate the idea of waste.
Hear about Tom’s success in starting a company, developing an innovative culture within the company and ultimately achieving success. This is the story of TerraCycle, from idea to 100% growth per year for five years, 100 products in 2009 in over 10,000 big box stores, and growing. All products made from and packaged in waste. Cover of Inc. Magazine, full page NYTimes and WS Journal stories and hundreds of stories annually.
What are opportunities in today’s environment; how to see and capitalize on hidden assets and grow businesses in a constrained economy. Keys are quality, pricing, innovation and customer engagement. Examples from TerraCycle. The importance of a big idea, whether social mission or in a larger service context.
How to generate disproportionate press and to attract participation from your customers. Sales strategy with a green emphasis in the Obama era.
TAGS: CEO, College and Universities, Entrepreneur, Environment, Sustainability