Founder Q&A with Nik Balachandran, Founder and CEO of Zabble

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Last week I had the pleasure to talk to Nik Balachandran, the Founder and CEO of Zabble, whose mission is to provide a blueprint for the circular economy by quantifying and categorizing waste. Prior to founding Zabble, Nik worked at seminal startups in the San Francisco Bay Area bringing new ideas to life in the areas of noise cancellation, clinical data analysis, patient medication adherence and indoor air quality. In addition to his role as CEO of Zabble, Nik also serves as a board member for Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA), and actively participates in zero waste advocacy and local beach cleanups. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from RVCE in Bangalore, India and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University in the US.

Below some of the discussion — you can watch/listen to the whole conversation here.

Can you tell me about Zabble and what you are currently working on?

Zabble is a B2B SaaS company that automates and streamlines waste measurements to create a streamlined workflow for large organizations with a zero waste goal. Zabble is trying to communicate what it means to create and generate waste to the stakeholders within the organization from facility, custodial and sustainability staff to building occupants. We do this by identifying and quantifying everything related to waste from where it is generated and what type to operational and maintenance associated with it. Through this process, we create a blueprint to streamline workflows around collection and maintenance of bins to identification and remediation of contamination across waste streams.

What challenges are you currently facing?

We were poised to take-off back in February with some of the largest institutions and organizations, however, in light of the current situation due to the pandemic, we have had to pivot so that Zabble stays alive and relevant.

How do you see Zabble’s business changing in the short and long-term?

To help with the current crisis, Zabble has pivoted towards catering to hospitals, rather than commercial businesses to continue our mission to create impact. For perspective, in America, we produce 4.5lbs per person per day, compared to hospitals that produce 25lbs per person per day. We are offering free pilots to identify and reduce waste streams, as well as managing appropriate disposal. Long term, this is where we want to be. The main shift has been in the customer base in the short-term.

Are you or anyone you know hiring?

Zabble has actually doubled in size during this time. We have on-boarded and are still looking for help with software development and marketing.

This article is part of the Organizer Innovation Collective, a collective focused on supporting entrepreneurs through creating a grassroots community, providing resources, and creating content.

Written by

Impact Investment Analyst at One World | Startup Weekend Facilitator | Climate Tech Enthusiast

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