As an avid viewer of NBC’s “Shark Tank” —- my interest was piqued during a recent episode when one young entrepreneur mentioned his passion for building a social enterprise after reading David Bornstein’s book, How to Change the World
. The book was one of the inspirations for Innov8Social and my interest in this space.
By way of context, Shark Tank gives entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their startups and seek funding from celebrity millionaire and billionaire investors including Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Daymond John.
Jason’s company, iReTron, buys back used electronics for a cash value, and then re-furbishes and re-sells or recycles the products. (See below for a video where Jason and the iReTron team explain the concept).
Jason was successful in raising his ask of $100K
through an investment by Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban, for a 20% equity stake in his company plus 20% of any company he starts in the next five years.
Jason’s family immigrated to the US from China when he was 6. He observed their work ethic and discipline as they started a small business in northern California. And as he shared on his show, one of his early passions was judo, which he has been learning since he was five years old. He had been actively competing in the sport until he broke his back in high school.
It was at that time that he began reading about social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, which helped spark his idea to launch a company that pursued profit as well as impact.
Listen to the Interview
More about Jason and iRetron