As we at CONNECT are getting excited about Most Innovative Product Awards 2017, we decided to catch up with some of our past MIP winners to talk about their MIP experience and where they are today. We will be featuring these conversations on the CONNECT blog.
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Camston Wrather is a 2016 MIP winner. Camston provides advanced, innovative and sustainable resource recovery services for clients in a diverse range of industries, from medical device manufacturers to school districts. The company recovers precious metals and polymer plastics from electronic waste using a proprietary non-toxic green technology transforming end-of-life bits into tomorrow’s atoms. Camston has developed a proprietary and stress tested recovery process that captures more than 98% of the precious metal value contained in e-waste quickly and efficiently using a low cost, eco-safe and highly scalable process.
We caught up with the team at Camston Wrather to talk MIP, business models, and partnerships.
Why did you apply to MIP?
Camston Wrather applied to MIP to gain feedback and validation from a respected neutral sounding board - CONNECT. Entrepreneurship requires a balance between being fully consumed with the technical, engineering, and IP aspects of your business - the tinkerer/hacker, and the consummate thirty-thousand foot business strategist. Great businesses have amazing technology driven by amazing management teams. The MIP awards and format is a fantastic place to test whether your business has both of these winning components.
What was your favorite part about the MIP event?
For Camston, it was both the scrutiny of its written business plan, model, and market assumptions and the pitching competition. The depth of CONNECT’s judging members, panelists, and industry guests rivals the best pitching competitions available to a startup - from Silicon Valley to Boston. If your model has a mountain to climb or you're developing solutions where they are no problems, you’re going to find out instantly when you go through the MIP selection process. For those companies who truly want to test their assumptions against a world-class sounding board of experts, you can do no better than CONNECT’s MIP competition.
What is one accomplishment/success you have had since you received the award?
Its tough to select one as there have been so many from major NFL partnerships, National Laboratory partnerships, major supplier contracts and of course new capital, but if pressed, I’d have to say the accomplishment that means the most is the one that the public will never see. I’m speaking now about how the validity of actually winning CONNECT’s MIP has further strengthened and reinforced our company's culture. When you work so hard for so many years buried in research and development, it carries a burden of weight, of uncertainty, that affects your team players and their extended support structure. Winning MIP, for Camston, produced one of the greatest successes a founder could ever hope for in business - a validated sense of purpose where the individual parts are recognized and become one actualized team.
Thank you Camston Wrather and congratulations on all of your success!