Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SEE Partners with CONNECT to Help Start-Ups

In a unique twist, local nonprofit organization, Sustainable Surplus Exchange (SSE), will be benefiting start-up, for profit companies through a collaboration with CONNECT.

“Our primary targets are educational and charitable organizations,” said SSE executive director, Sue Prelozni.  However, not all the items can be repurposed to those organizations.  “Sometimes we will receive scientific instruments which may be too complex or expensive to maintain even at a community college,” Prelozni explained.  In other instances, SSE will receive a quantity of items that would overload the NPO market.

So, SSE reached out to its mentor, CONNECT, a regional program that catalyzes innovative technologies by linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success.  Through its Springboard program, CONNECT matches innovators with business advisors – industry experts with C-level experience – to mentor them through a multi-stage process including developing a commercialization strategy, marketing, operational plans, and financial strategy.

SSE is the first nonprofit to graduate from CONNECT’s Springboard program.
“SSE came into the Springboard program in an unusual way. We typically coach tech companies, with a protectable technology, capable of returning profits to investors. Not so with SSE! This is a social return on investment!” noted CONNECT Vice President of Business Creation & Development, Ruprecht von Buttlar.

Through their collaboration, Springboard graduating companies, of which there are several hundred, will have access to inexpensive items, the basics, to support their business during its crucial start-up phase. 

“I am very excited about this opportunity! Cash-strapped Springboard companies can now acquire essential equipment for a fraction of the regular price and make a difference to the environment ,” Ruprecht added.

All the items are available on SSE’s online Exchange.  Springboard members will pay an annual membership fee and be able to access items in the Exchange.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Prelozni. Corporations will be in compliance with state recycling mandates by reducing the amount of solid waste they would dispose in the landfills.  Still useful items are repurposed, supporting our environment and reducing the drain on resources to create new items.  And nonprofit and start-up organizations get much-needed items, alleviating budget constraints.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sustainable Surplus Launches New Website

Sustainable Surplus Exchange (SSE) has a new website!

Thanks to the incredible work and tenacity of the students at Mira Costa College, SSE has a new look and a new logo.
The Web Design 3 class chose Sustainable Surplus as their term project under the guidance of professor Karl Cleveland.  The class created interview questions to address the communication objectives, goals, and needs of the site as well as learn about SSE and its target audience.

The class formed two teams, Webhook and Flashzoom, and developed two mock-ups, including website architecture and images.  “It was really difficult to choose one creative,” said SSE executive director Sue Prelozni.  “There were aspects of both that we really liked.”
In the end, SSE went with team Webhook’s design. 

 “Designing a website for Sustainable Surplus been a great learning experience for my students,” said Cleveland. Each of the teams had to learn about project management, problem solving, and  collaboration when working within a team environment. He added, “And, they had to balance the requirements of the class with their own learning goals.”
After the semester ended, several students stayed on the project:  Becky Gahman, Barbara Smith, and Steven Shaw.   “They volunteered hours of works to get the site ‘live’,” praised Prelozni.  In addition to writing website html, they attended events, took photos, even helped create a new video – which in incorporated in the new site as well.

Prelozni extended her thanks to everyone for their help – from the College and its community service learning program -- to the students and professor.  “Our website is our first impression to the public and we are very pleased that the project turned out so well.”

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sustainable Surplus Receives Community Enhancement Grant

Thanks to County Supervisor Dave Roberts, Sustainable Surplus was awarded $4000 under the Community Enhancement Grant program.  "It is a start to show my commitment to your organization's great work for all of us!," Roberts commented. 
Over 350 organizations were competing for the funds.  We appreciate Supv Roberts' confidence in our mission, said executive director, Sue Prelozni.  SSE is in capacity building mode and such funding is essential to reach its goals.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Waste Not, Want Not

Ever wonder what 3500 wastebaskets looks like?  Well, it's enough to fill a 24-foot enclosed truck.  It will fill 18 pallets stacked over 7 feet high.  
“When the truck door opened. I just laughed,” said Sustainable Surplus Exchange director, Sue Prelozni.  The donation came from Ashford University, of the Bridgepoint Education holdings group.  They chose to repurpose versus dispose of the wastebaskets when they changed their waste and recycling collection system on campus.
“We sent about half of the wastebaskets to Father Joe’s Villages,” said Prelozni.  The other half is being repurposed to the educators and nonprofit workers who attend our BYOB events and Exchanges.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Busy Day for Local Organizations at the Exchange

A few shots of folks from local schools and organizations having fun at our Exchange…
grabbing a “few” needed items....Carlsbad Unified …La Costa Canyon High School...
Fab Lab ...
La Costa Canyon 1  FabLab 1  CLD Unified 1 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fun Day at the Exchange

It was a fun day for two local nonprofits at the Exchange.  “It was like a personal shopping day,” said Kay Ledson of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.  Kay was joined by her colleague, Karen Yoder, and she ran into a friend from Project Walk, Alexandra Christensen. “What a nice coincidence.”  Of all places to run into someone – at the warehouse of Sustainable Surplus Exchange!  Coincidence or Karma?