New Orleans-based Refresh Environmental won the Idea Village’s “Seed to Speed” challenge yesterday presented by Gulf Coast Bank and Trust and Desire NOLA. Thirteen companies pitched their ventures in a fast-paced speed dating format in front of bankers from Gulf Coast, giving seven five minute rapid pitches back-to-back. At the end of the event, judges awarded $17,000. to Refresh Environmental.
Refresh Environmental is a vertically integrated biofuels company that focuses on waste-cooking oil and trap grease collection and servicing. Refresh works with local restaurants and recyclers to process their waste liquids into soaps, chemicals, and fuels. They create local and sustainable oil ecosystems by providing restaurants and other grease producing entities with onsite, anti-theft, and ergonomic waste-cooking oil containers. Refresh then collects the waste-cooking oils and work with local processing facilities to recycle the liquids into useful products.
Refresh is dedicated to Louisiana, furthering the startup ecosystem, and is doign its part in local economic development by keeping 100% of the waste vegetable oil collected inside Louisiana. Refresh aims to build a manufacturing facility in Louisiana that will create jobs to make the biofuels which will remain in the state as well. Refresh is headquartered in New Orleans.
The two founders, Brandon Iglesias and Larry Spegele, have chemical engineering backgrounds and have petrochemical and oil industry experience. Brandon and Larry are receiving MBAs from Tulane University, and Brandon is receiving a Master’s in Finance as well. Good luck guys!