Meet Alex Rosa.
COO of Product Refinery - maker of the Cleanup Cart.
"You can do anything you want in Cincy, and the organizations that are there to support you are evidence of that."
Cleanup Cart is a freestanding mobile cleaning unit that can be used by community organizations to clean up their neighborhoods in a modern, engaging, and simple way.
Q: What is a problem you're working to solve?
A: We are trying to solve how to equip and engage community members to clean up their own neighborhoods to multiply the efforts that are already ongoing via cleanup events, general maintenance efforts, and city services.
Q: What is a lesson you've learned that has shaped your work?
A: Litter robots just can't do enough to keep cities clean. People have to take personal ownership of the beautification of their respective neighborhoods.
Q: Were you entrepreneurial when you were younger?
A: Yes! Growing up in a Hispanic household, Spanish is my first language and the only language I speak to my parents with until this day. Because I grew up bilingual, I started a tutoring business for friends and classmates to learn Spanish which often featured them coming over for family BBQs and dinners so they could also chat with my parents and practice in a genuine setting.
Q: What’s one piece of advice would you give a young entrepreneur in Greater Cincinnati?
A: Build a team, then build a network. As a young startup, it's easy to get caught up in who you know and the opportunities that are made available to you once your feet hit the pavement in Cincinnati. That's all well and good and will eventually prove useful, however building a team around you to execute the work needed to capitalize on the network is key. No potential partner wants to work with a team that can't deliver what they say they will or want to deal with internal dramas that push deliverable timelines further and further back. You can do anything you want in Cincy, and the organizations that are there to support you are evidence of that, but you need a solid core team with a shared vision to make whatever direction you choose become a reality.