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This young Korean entrepreneur turned trash into $5.2 million USD

By alice101   Saturday, October 22, 2016   61,345   452   18
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Recycling and managing trashcans. These tasks are something most people would avoid, but this young man made the tasks simpler and easier. E-Cube Lab's CEO, Kwon Soon Bum (28) is that person. Kwon was able to make a solar powered trash can during college and has made a profit of 6,000,000,000 KRW ($5.2 million USD) this year. 

Kwon says that in 2010, during his junior year of college, he was walking around the streets of Hongdae with his friends and saw trashcans overflowing with trash. It usually would have been a familiar sight but on that day, it really bothered him. He thought to himself, "It wouldn't overflow like that if there was a machine to compress the trash." So he and the four friends who were with him on that day decided to give it a try. 




Here is Chosun's interview with Kwon. 


Q: You solved a problem others ignored. 

A:  I was eating ice cream in front of those trashcans and thought, this is too much. The other friends with me happen to be interested in social problems, so we decided to give it a try. 


Q; How did you start it? 

A. At first, I didn't know where to start. We had our desires but because we were all students, it was difficult to make specific plans. After thinking about it, we created a designed and visited tool and machine shops. They were all baffled because the design was not specific and our budget was too small. 


Q: So you needed to specify some things. 

A. We decided to experience the problem first hand. We volunteered to help the sanitation workers to learn the intensity of the work and what the issues were. We discovered a lot of things to be improved after realizing that the sanitation method has been the same for so such a long time. 




Kwon and his friends used the experience gained and the initial idea to invent "Clean Cube," a trashcan that periodically compresses materials using solar power. 


They were determined to invest their everything into the project, and they needed funds. The friends participated in 15 different competitions in 6 months. One of the judges at a competition was a venture capitalist and he put seed funding into 'Clean Cube.' 




In 2011, with the money that they had made from the competition, Kwon and his friends founded 'E-Cube Lab.' The model product was released the following year and 60 of the trash cans were installed in universities across Seoul. 


Their future goals are to expand the trash cans globally as they believe this has the potential to be a 55 trillion KRW ($48.3 Billion USD) market.


SEE ALSO: Korean soldiers donate money to help Ethiopian veterans who fought in the Korean War

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    daFoolio Monday, October 24, 2016

    its the fact that they decided to get off their asses and DO something about it that i admire... good job fellas.  and as long as it uses solar power and they get their production costs down my mass producing... this has be cost effective in the long run

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    fairytaeil Sunday, October 23, 2016

    im annoyed that these type of clickbait articles are appearing on the site - "find out how this woman made 20$ million from home!!11!!1!"

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    lume90 Sunday, October 23, 2016

    Great topic.  While reading, I remember a trash can that a peer used to have at their home, she said, the garbage just evaporates or something, while in there, and she didn't know how it happens, it just does...kind of wish i had more info, maybe i can get myself one :p

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    1Minoz Sunday, October 23, 2016

    It depends how much it costs. I might be cheaper to hire more ppl to change trash. It is like electric vehicle cars.

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    judyi 1Minoz Sunday, October 23, 2016

    well its just the start. maybe later they can figure out a way to make them smaller and more affordable. Anyway you think of it, it truly is genius idea and also great to teach younger kids how to recycle

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    Kimiko_Leo Sunday, October 23, 2016

    Wow kudos to them...true entrepreneurs! 😊

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    NaritaZaraki Sunday, October 23, 2016

    I love it! Not just because it's brilliant, it's eco-friendly and spares us all the sight of overflowing trash but also because it spares the sanitation workers from having to collect trash from the ground and around the trashcan before they can get on with emptying it and I bet that's just really annoying and an unnecessary extra workload for them. Hope they go global! ^_^

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    vaxanne Sunday, October 23, 2016

    Go global. Hope to see these trashcans in my country soon

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    Fatimaaxo Saturday, October 22, 2016

    He turned TWICE into what

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    Tsinis Saturday, October 22, 2016

    This comment has been removed due to violation of our TOS. (Reason: idiotic commentary)

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    federick Saturday, October 22, 2016

    There's no such thing as nothing.

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