Forrest Senti always planned to forge a career in marketing. He majored in marketing and minored in entrepreneurship while at UCCS, but once he graduated, he discovered even greater passions for social impact businesses and working with startups. In his developing career, he’s managed to combine all three.

“Everywhere I’ve ever worked had a strong social impact to it,” Senti, 24, said.

His current employer, Maxletics, where he is director of marketing, supports elite athletes by pairing them with brands looking to promote their products. Previous employer Nor’wood Development Group, where he was marketing coordinator, “does a lot of really huge, good things.” He’s also worked for Mountain Equipment Recyclers, which supports more than a dozen charities through sales of new and gently used outdoor equipment, and teamed up with two friends to start Peak Social Insights, a firm that helped businesses use social media to their advantage.

“We started Peak Social Insights with the specific intention that we would take roles we wanted to get experience in,” Senti said. “That led me to finding out I was really good at project management.”

As a volunteer with organizations including Thrive Colorado Springs, the Colorado Institute for Social Impact and Peak Startups, he worked with new and upcoming businesses and was inspired to pitch his own unique idea at last fall’s Techstars Startup Weekend.

“I was always interested in the zero-waste home,” he said. “Everybody throws away lint from their dryers. I wondered if there was something innovative and kind of cool we could do with that.”

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So he came up with the idea of collecting lint from commercial laundromats and recycling it into a usable textile, and founded a business he called Linted.

“Right now we are turning lint into sound panels,” he said. “We have a working prototype, and we’re trying to figure out if it could be used as insulation. We have a huge list of things we’d like to experiment with.”

Laundromats are happy to give him their lint, which he collects on weekends. His supply is limited only by the amount he can fit into his SUV.

Senti’s concept won at both Startup Weekend and at UCCS and Peak Startup’s Lion’s Den pitch competition.

“I really enjoy this world of developing ideas,” he said. “I keep a book where I write down interesting ideas and business models. My big goals are to be working in support of startups” and developing Linted into a sustainable enterprise.

— Jeanne Davant

What advice would you give your younger self?

Run a little more, get involved a little more and start competing
in business competitions a lot sooner.