What: Service that
refurbishes and disposes of old computers for business
Who: Stampp Corbin of RetroBox
Where: Columbus, Ohio
When: Started in 1996
When Stampp Corbin worked as a computer consultant in 1996, he noticed firsthand the problems companies faced when they had to purchase new computer systems and get rid of outdated equipment. So Corbin decided to launch a business to streamline the disposal process--and today, his company removes old computers, erases any sensitive information and then resells refurbished units or destroys unusable ones in an environmentally sound fashion.
"We have had companies with football-field-sized warehouses full of outdated equipment," says Corbin, 42. "Those assets are depreciating very quickly. When they call us, we introduce them into the secondary market [right away]." His clients get a monetary return on their old computers, as well as the assurance that their confidential data will remain that way.
Currently, RetroBox serves 80 Fortune 500 companies; just one such corporation might retire 10,000 computer assets a year. Corbin sells many of these refurbished and discounted computers directly to consumers online. RetroBox also sells through eBay and in bulk to international clients.
Initially, Corbin's biggest challenge was educating potential customers about RetroBox's services. But that's no longer a problem, now that sales have grown 450 percent over the past three years and doubled in 2002 alone.