By: Jackie Davis
Nicole Toole is in her junior year at Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business where she is majoring in Computer Information Systems. Toole, a true panther-preneur was also recently selected as a Frances Wood Wilson Foundation Scholar.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
Entrepreneurship means having the courage to make the world an even better place than how you found it. This is why entrepreneurship is so important and why it is so important to me.
What problem is your business solving?
Conserve Innovations is working to solve recycling contamination. When people put random or dirty materials into their recycling bins, it contaminates the entire batch of materials – drastically decreasing the likelihood that those materials have the opportunity to be recycled. The Conserve app solves this by educating and rewarding users for recycling correctly!
Who is your target customer?
Our target customers are recycling companies and municipalities; we license our app and onboard all of their residences onto our platform. Our target app users are single-family residences with recycling programs at their homes.
What inspired the idea?
COVID-19 is what helped blossom our idea. My co-founder and I have been in the recycling space for some time and realized that since everyone at home due to the virus, one thing would remain constant — waste. After researching, we found that people were actually generating even more waste due to being home! We wanted to create a solution that prompted people to truly think about better ways to dispose of it.
How has your business pivoted?
Our previous business venture also focused on recycling, but instead, targeted college students and college campuses. We had an app as well as a recycling machine that accepted plastic and aluminum cans. When the pandemic occurred, we could no longer place our machines due to new restrictions. Therefore, we had to quickly pivot, which actually allowed for us to create a better product and stronger business model!
You recently received the Frances Wood Wilson Foundation Scholarship that is designed to support Entrepreneurship & Innovation Scholars. How will the funds support you and your business?
Entrepreneurship is about problem-solving and innovating. In this big world that we live in, there are so many problems that need innovative solutions, that need big thinkers, and need ambitious people to take a chance. I’m appreciative of sponsors of this scholarship for allowing this opportunity to exist! The scholarship has assisted me with paying for my tuition and allowing me to pursue my dreams. I am truly thankful.
What role has Georgia State played in your entrepreneurial journey?
Georgia State has played a tremendous role in my entrepreneurial journey. When I first came into the University as a Freshman, I immediately applied to be a part of the LaunchGSU incubator. There, I met other entrepreneurs and attended webinars that helped foster the foundation I needed to launch a strong business. I was also accepted into the Digital Learners to Leaders program where I met my co-founder, Ishir Vasavada. It was also at Georgia State where we were accepted and received our first company grant in the Main Street Entrepreneurs Seed Fund accelerator program. We not only received funding, but also received astounding support by veteran entrepreneurs in the industry and the faculty and staff in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute. Georgia State was the first to take a chance on me and my business before anyone else did, and more importantly has provided us the resources to succeed. And for that, I am so grateful.