V.I.P. Waste Services, LLC

V.I.P. Waste Services provides unique recycling and trash programs exclusively for apartment communities, specializing in valet pickup from every resident's doorstep. Based in Columbus, Ohio, this young company was born out of personal need as founders Jesse Lear and Travis Smith became frustrated with the inconvenience of recycling and trash disposal in the community where they lived as roommates. Realizing that doorstep pickup was not available for apartments anywhere in the Midwest, the idea struck them: "What if WE could start something like that?" Today, V.I.P. Waste is proud to serve more than 17,000 apartments each week with doorstep pickup, giving each community a powerful amenity to attract new residents and make existing residents happier. While the competition in their unique niche has since grown fierce, the founders are still growing rapidly by building authentic relationships within their market and protecting the company's commitment to celebrity-like customer service.

  • Industry: Environmental Services
  • Year Started: 2010
  • Organization Type: For-Profit
  • # of Employees: 7 ( as of Dec 31, 2013)

Jesse Lear


Jesse's passion for entrepreneurship was sparked at age 15 when his dad gave him a copy of "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens". While most of his friends were partying and playing video games, Jesse spent his teenage years starting small business ventures. During college, he found a way to study abroad in Ireland for free, and then turned the 3-month trip into profit by writing a unique travel guidebook that sold 200+ copies online at $28/ea. After college graduation, Jesse was so determined to avoid the corporate path that he took a job selling cable door-to-door for 2 years while looking for a good business idea. At age 23, this determination finally paid off as Jesse co-founded V.I.P. Waste and became obsessed with nursing the new company to life. Today, he considers himself blessed to have his dream job and enjoys any opportunity to mentor other aspiring young entrepreneurs.

  • Age: 30
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian

Travis Smith


Travis Smith was born and raised in Ocala, FL as the youngest of 6 children. He was a 3-sport athlete in high school, and then continued his athletic career on scholarship for track & field and basketball at Cedarville University in Ohio. After a record setting career on the track, Travis graduated from Cedarville University and then moved to Columbus in 2010 to take a job selling cable door-to-door. After a year of experience in cable sales, Travis started VIP Waste Services with his best friend from college, Jesse Lear. In his free time, Travis enjoys opportunities to give back through public speaking. Past speaking engagements include Cedarville University, Ohio Christian University, The Organization of Solid Waste Districts of Ohio (OSWDO), The Ohio Association of Litter Prevention and Recycling Professionals (OALPRP), and The National Residential Recycling Conference.

  • Age: 30
  • Ethnicity: Black

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