YouRenew, a Yale student start-up, will relocate from its current headquarters on York Street to a recently leased 3,500 square-foot property in Science Park after the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute helped the business to find the space.
Cofounder Rich Littlehale ’10 said YouRenew — which pays consumers for their unwanted electronics and then either sells or recycles them — is moving because it does not currently have enough room for its growing number of employees and the increasing size of its operations. The move will occur in about a month, by January 2010, he said.
Though YouRenew will pay more for rent in its new space, Littlehale said, the increase in cost will be offset by a projected increase in revenue: With more space, the company will be able to attract more customers, he said.
“We have positive outlooks on the future for the company and think that Science Park will be a great place to grow the business,” Littlehale said. “I think it will help give our company more credibility in the sense that we can handle larger volumes of [used] devices and process them effectively.”
Bob Casey ’11 and Littlehale founded the company in March 2009 under the auspices of YEI, which supports students’ entrepreneurial ventures and helps them to obtain financial backers. YouRenew began with two employees, working out of the YEI student incubator space on York Street, and has grown to employ 20 people today. The company currently occupies over half of YEI’s space on York Street, YEI Deputy Director Shana Schneider said.
YEI played a key role in connecting YouRenew with officials at Science Park, Littlehale said. In the wake of an economic recession, at a time when may small businesses owners are holding tight and hoping for the best, Littlehale and Casey said they are confident the company will remain financially viable after the move. In October, Littlehale and Casey told the News that YouRenew was on track to break even this year and become profitable in 2010.
“YouRenew is not recession-proof,” Littlehale said. “We’ve just been fortunate so far to need to take one step up to a bigger facility that is better set up for our needs.”
Schneider said YouRenew’s move is like a graduation from the YEI program into the real world. YEI has “been there since the beginning” with YouRenew, she said, adding, “They’ve been through the process exactly the way we would like to see any student venture go through it.”
Schneider added that she hopes YouRenew’s success serves as an example for other students hoping to go through YEI’s training program, which includes a summer fellowship program and brainstorming sessions.
In October, Littlehale testified in Washington, D.C., about the government’s policies on purchasing energy efficient products, speaking before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement. BusinessWeek also recently selected Littlehale and Casey as two of the magazine’s “Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25.”