Organization: Conserve Innovations
Founder: Nicole Toole
Career/ Area of Study: Business Administration, Computer Information Systems
Book Rec: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Nicole Toole has dedicated her undergraduate career towards sustainable and encouraging methods of environmentally conservation practices. I met Nicole as a fellow member of LaunchGSU, an entrepreneurial incubator at Georgia State University. At the time, Conserve Innovations did not exist, just Eco-Drop. The impact of the pandemic caused her and her team to make major pivots to adapt to the new normal.
AN ENVIRONMENTAL PIVOT
2020 has been an era of change for most, including college students. With Eco-Drop, students and staff could take their items to local recycling machine stations and recycle their materials while earning a monetary prize. However, due to the shift in educational practices (many universities across the U.S. changing from in-person teaching to online classes), much of Nicole’s ideal audience, college students, who stayed on campus significantly decreased.
Nicole and her team determined that the solution was to give college students (and eventually everyone else) the technological ability to recycle anywhere, regardless of their location.
“People do recycle, just not correctly.”
At the moment, recycling programs in the U.S. are determined at the local level, creating non-standardized and confusing recycling systems that inconvenience a person to recycle, much less appropriately recycle.
Conserve Innovations is an app that encourages its users to recycle properly with the snap of a photo. But, of course, the app uses advanced technology to create a simple, user-friendly process. Using image recognition, the app will recognize the item itself and where to recycle it in your local area.
Conserve currently is focusing on college and universities as well as college students because they already understand the importance of sustainability. Many universities have already adopted Zero-Waste goals and Conserve can help them reach them
“You need a team and village to build your company.” Toole credits the continued progress of Conserve Innovations to Launch GSU, LaunchPad 2x, and her team. Beforehand, she had minimal experience in entrepreneurship or even a technological background to speak of. The founder is thankful to LaunchGSU for helping her develop her idea and providing the resources necessary to create her ventures.
LaunchPad 2x is an accelerator boot camp for women entrepreneurs. She’s appreciative of the 1-week program she participated in because it transformed her mind from founder to CEO.
Nicole and her team look forward to the next phase for Conserve Innovations. In March 2022, they launched their app on the Georgia State University campus. She’s excited to hear feedback from college students to continue optimizing the app for the user experience.
FOLLOW CONSERVE INNOVATIONS’ JOURNEY