Spotlight on Startups - ExchangeMyPhoneAt Sprout Insights, we comb the web to bring you the most up-to-date and actionable resources on how to use social media to grow your business.

To that end, we’re pleased to present the Sprout Insights series Spotlight on Startups. We’ll find the most innovative, useful startup companies out there, get the inside track on what they’re doing, and tell you how you can leverage their products and services for your own business.

This week we’re pleased to cast the spotlight on ExchangeMyPhone — a web-based platform that facilitates the resale (or recycling) of old cellphones and iPads.

What Is ExchangeMyPhone?

What Is ExchangeMyPhone?

ExchangeMyPhone provides a service whereby you can send in your old, unwanted cellphone or iPad to be either re-sold or recycled. You provide some details about the device and its condition and ExchangeMyPhone will give you a quote regarding its dollar value. Using a prepaid envelope (that it also provides), you then mail your phone to ExchangeMyPhone.

If your phone has any resale value it will pay you that value in cash, or make a donation to a charity on your behalf. Even if your cellphone has no resale value, you can still send it in for safe, environmentally responsible recycling — all for free!

According to ExchangeMyPhone CEO, Jeremy Cohen, “all phones that are sent to us are wiped of their data. If we can bring them to working condition and give them a second life, we upcycle the phones whenever possible. For phones beyond repair, we send them to our electronics-recycling partner, WeRecycle!” In other words, once you send in your phone you know its going to a destination that will provide the highest benefit with the lowest possible environmental footprint.

ExchangeMyPhone launched in May, 2011. It’s based in Brooklyn, NY, and accepts phones from anywhere in the United States.

What Needs Does it Address?

What Needs Does It Address?

Did you know that more than eighty percent of cellphone material is recyclable, yet only ten percent of it is actually recycled annually? Mr. Cohen says this is a huge problem, and that ExcahnegMyPhone intends to help “eliminate E-waste, one cellphone at a time.”

“Most people have a drawer that looks like a cell phone graveyard somewhere in their house,” says Cohen. “The trouble is, nobody knows what to do with that old equipment”, he adds. ExchangeMyPhone provides a practical means to “extend the lifecycle of phones, keep them out of toxic landfills and re-circulate the precious metals that are hidden in our cell phones,” Cohen says.

ExchangeMyPhone cites some staggering statistics. For example, over 1 billion cellphones are produced every year and there are more cellphones than people right now in the United States. With an average lifespan of only 18 months, knowing what to do with all these obsolete cellphones is a growing concern. ExchangeMyPhone is doing its part to provide an economic incentive to address this problem.

How You Can Leverage ExchangeMyPhone

How You Can Leverage ExchangeMyPhone

As an individual, you can benefit from ExchangeMyPhone by using the service to get rid of your unwanted cellphones and iPads — and maybe make a few bucks in the process.

If you’re a nonprofit, you can register with ExchangeMyPhone as an innovative way to get more donations for your chartiable organization. You can even work with your donors and ExchangeMyPhone to organize “phone drives” where you benefit from large volume participation in ExchangeMyPhone’s “Double The Good” program.

With the proliferation of hardware upgrades being offered by smartphone suppliers, we’re practically drowning in a sea of E-waste these days. Do the right thing. Contact ExchangeMyPhone through its website, on Twitter, or Facebook and make arrangements to exchange those old, unwanted phones of yours. Your wallet, favorite charity, or Mother Earth will thank you for it!

[Image credits: ExchangeMyPhone, ExchangeMyPhone (FB), Alan Levine]