CSU alum creates software to determine value of used cell phones

Danielle Jauregui

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Founder Brennan Zelener with operations coordinator Will Minton at the Rocky Mountain Innosphere, in the main office of Newaya Recycling, take a moment to share their story and passion for repairing, reconditioning, and recycling of cell phone technology. (Photo credit: Topher Brancaccio)

Few CSU students are sure of what they want to do in the future in their first years of college. But during his sophomore year, CSU alum Brennen Zelener was running a cell phone trade-in company from his dorm room in Aspen Hall.

The cell phone trade-in company Newaya has grown tremendously since the beginning stages in Zelener’s dorm, according to Zelener. The small Fort Collins-based company has never taken any investments from outside parties and functions solely off the profits made.

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Newaya is now working with cell phone companies around the world to recycle old phones, and they have also created a new software that can be used by other businesses to determine how much a used cell phone is worth.

“We’ve built a piece of software that a clerk at a store can go through to tell them how much your phone is worth,” Zelener said. “Then, they can check to see if the phone has ever been reported as stolen and also check to see if the Find My iPhone application is turned on.”

Newaya has partnered with the Fort Collins-based company Krash Electronic Repairs to expand the use of the software and give the customers options of what to do with a broken phone. Krash Electronic ownersAshley and Jon Parker said they think the decision to partner the companies was a smart move.

“It’s a good way for both businesses to be introduced to one another,” Parker said. “People who may have been inclined to sell their phone may realize that they have the option to repair it, just as people who wanted to repair their phone may be able to realize that they can just sell it and use the money towards another one. (The companies) are related, but yet still two separate businesses.”

Zelener said he hopes that this new partnership will bring in more business from the CSU community. CSU sophomore Tyler Salazar said he thinks that expanding the use of this product will be beneficial when trying to sell an old phone.

“I think it’s a good idea because this makes it so all phone repair shops buy and sell at the same price,” Salazar said. “You don’t have to worry that some places will pay you less for your phone. The fact that it scans for theft will benefit the reputation of the trade-in businesses.”

Collegian Reporter Danielle Jauregui can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @DaniJ27