In episode 106, Catherine Weetman talks to Yael Shemer of Tulu.io.
Tulu.io is another disruptive start up, helping people ‘get more, from less’ – shrinking the footprint of production and consumption by improving the utilization of under-used objects.
In the last episode, Gene Homicki told us how MyTurn’s software platform helps brands, public sector organizations, and community groups to rent and lend all kinds of equipment, tools and toys.
Today, we hear from Yael Shemer, an environmental entrepreneur and the co-founder and chief customer officer of TULU. Tulu is an on-demand service, enabling people to access things to help them cook, host, clean, and do DIY. Tulu operates in residential buildings and student housing, with customers renting things by the hour. It curates the kinds of items residents are looking for, installs a smart unit to display and stock the items, with a one-click app to manage access.
Tulu is already in 22 cities across 3 continents, servicing 70,000 households. It was founded in 2018, by Yael and her co-founder, architect Yishai Lehavi. Tulu is now part of the MIT DesignX venture program, and has already raised nearly $30 million dollars.
Yael Shemer has led several ventures in the field of urban communities and sustainable living. This year, Yael was selected as a Forbes 30 under 30.
We’ll hear how Tulu provides benefits for everyone in the system – landlords are able to create a better experience for their tenants, tenants get access to equipment and other things that make life easier or more enjoyable, and the equipment brands can create deeper, two-way relationships with customers.
Podcast host Catherine Weetman is a circular economy business advisor, workshop facilitator, speaker and writer. Her award-winning book: A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business includes lots of practical examples and tips on getting started. Catherine founded Rethink Global in 2013, to help businesses use circular, sustainable approaches to build a better business (and a better world).
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Links we mention in the episode:
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Read more about TULU
Where to find TULU:
Where to find Yael
Other things we mentioned
Yael Shemer is an environmental entrepreneur and is the co-founder and chief customer officer of TULU, a series A, MIT DesignX venture and an on-demand physical and digital platform that operates in residential buildings and student housing, providing residents with access to household items they can rent by the hour. Her company raised nearly $30 million dollars and operates in 22 cities serving 50K people worldwide.
Her main passion is urban sustainability and innovation. Prior to co-founding TULU, she has been an environmental entrepreneur and led several ventures in the field of urban communities and sustainable living. Her professional academic background includes an environmental science degree and training from Columbia University Transboundary Environmental Management course, a Harvard Business School social entrepreneurship seminar.
In 2023 she was selected as a Forbes 30 under 30, and today she is inspired more than ever to help advance technologies on mitigating climate change, circular economy, and promoting responsible consumerism.
TULU was born at MIT’s DesignX incubator in 2018. This is where the partnership between architect Yishai Lehavi and environmental entrepreneur Yael Shemer took flight, fueled by a shared passion for rethinking the way we live. Yishai’s perspectives on the built environment and Yael’s approach to alternative consumption habits and minimalism formed a foundation that led to a global operation — one dedicated to a more responsible mode of consumption and to reducing the cost of living in the city.
Want to find out more about the circular economy?
To go deeper, you could buy Catherine’s book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy. Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable.
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Thanks to Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, otherwise known as the brilliant, inventive and generous folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow for allowing me to use the instrumentals from the live version of Summat’s Brewin’ as music for the podcast. You can find the whole track (inspired by the Copper Family song “Oh Good Ale”) on their album, also called Summat’s Brewin’. Or, follow them on Twitter.