Matthew Braxton is a 23-year-old UTEP student, who is the founder and CEO of the company Revcorp PC.
Matthew Braxton is a 23-year-old UTEP student, who is the founder and CEO of the company Revcorp PC.
Annabella Mireles

Matthew Braxton

An Environmental Take on the World

When it comes to the world of technology and engineering, it is easy to get lost in ideas such as artificial intelligence and the theories that advancing technologies are on a fast path to superseding human processing. Whether it be things dealing with the likes of mechanics, computers, or robotics, people tend to forget where all of these started, how they were born and how these have helped.

However, there are still plenty of people working within various Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic (STEM) based fields that care about how these applications impact our environment, personal finances and general well-being.

One person aiming to make such meaningful changes within the borderland community through his own business is Matthew Braxton, a 23-year-old engineering innovation and leadership student with two minors in mathematics and general business at UTEP. Although his story may not begin in El Paso, the Chicagoan, has found his passions, purpose and the work he enjoys doing, here in the Sun City.

Matthew Braxton, 23-year-old Chicagoan, repairs computers to reduce electronic waste. (Annabella Mireles)

Braxton is the founder and CEO of the company Revcorp PC, which specializes in computer reselling and repair services.

“When I first started Revcorp PC it was around fall 2021, and it all started with the idea of reducing the amount of electronic waste produced in the United States,” Braxton said. “As you already know, climate change is a huge issue and the biggest contributor to that is electronic waste. That’s just unnecessarily thrown away and improperly disposed of and as a result it causes a lot of environmental pollution via the release of toxic chemicals into the soil, and the water.”

One of the biggest areas affected by environmental pollution, according to Braxton, is a commercial district in Africa nicknamed Agbogbloshie. It is on the Korle Lagoon of the Odaw River near the center of Ghana’s capitol city, Accra, and is disproportionately affected by the amount of e-waste that pollutes the city.

According to a Bloomberg article, the waste sites in Agbogbloshie are a “result of the world’s increasing demand for electronic equipment as consumers continually upgrade their devices and throw out the older ones. A significant proportion of this electronic waste is sent, often illegally, from the West to developing countries across Africa and Asia.”

Statista statistics describe that more than 50 million metric tons of e-waste are produced worldwide per year, with an average of around seven kilograms per capita of e-waste. The amount of waste dumped in Agbogbloshie is especially devastating considering the way it affects the local environment and its inhabitants. E-waste in this area is horrific as it is amassed across the former wetlands and continues to grow. The workers who go through the waste have suffered burns, chronic nausea and headaches, respiratory problems and much more due to the pollution and toxins around them.

The question of how this happens is expansive and ranges from fashion to functionality. Every year, upgraded versions of staple products like phones, computers, laptops and televisions are launched to encourage consumers to buy “bigger” or “better.” Sometimes if a device is damaged, the repair costs are more expensive and time consuming compared to buying a new device. However, CNBC and more e-waste statistics from Statistica site that the biggest contributors to this issue are the companies making these products such as Apple, Samsung, Google, Intel, and many others. These churn out products that are designed to only last fashionably and functionally for a couple of years. This is why in certain countries the constant replacement and discharging of devices causes harmful needs and demands methods for proper disposal.

“Most of the world’s exports from (the) United States, Canada, Europe, ends up there,” Braxton said. “As a result, the locals are trying to dispose of it but because of its hazardous nature, not only is it polluting the area but also affects the health of other people there.”

Braxton said that this is the main reason he wanted to start Revcorp PC, to reduce waste wherever he could, and give it a new purpose.

Although the wheels for the company started turning in fall 2021, January 2022 is when it was officially launched as a legitimate Limited Liability Company (LLC). Braxton talks a little bit about how his business works and how it contributes to reducing waste and providing accessibility for those in need.

“Revcorp PC, on the surface, is just like any generic computer seller, test repair center,” Braxton said. “Kind of think of it like Dell. But the difference between us and them is that we are very big on the user aspect of our products. We not only want to get revenue from our customers, we also want to make sure that their products are lasting as long as they should, that they’re being properly recycled, all sorts of things.”

Braxton explains that his company differs from other big brands due to its focus on user friendliness and the care they put into their work. He also goes on to describe how customers can benefit from their services regardless of where their PCs are coming from since they prioritize accessibility, low labor rates, and free diagnostic consultations.

“To do that, first we try to make our computers quality and secondly, we also want to make it easy and accessible for everyone,” Braxton said. “So, to do that we offer free diagnostic consultations, lower labor rates for repairs and we do include service plans with our PCs that are absolutely free, and they’re really designed to make it more accessible and easier for people to come in and feel more comfortable getting their PC serviced.”

Sometimes people are afraid of how costly services related to their tech devices can be, which is where the inspiration from Braxton’s business model stems from.

Founder and CEO of Revcorp, Matthew Braxton, specializes in computer reselling and repair services. (Annabella Mireles)

“A lot of times people will just leave their computer in the closet or just throw it away because they don’t have a lot of money, or they just worry about how much it will cost,” Braxton said. “That’s really our business model and how we differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”

Running a business with ideals like these as a one man means receiving guidance wherever he can get it. Whether it be from entrepreneurial organizations, like Blackstone, volunteers who donate their own electronics or even those within his personal circle, managing Revcorp PC comes with plenty of hard work and additional advice.

“Close friends of mine who have experiences with businesses and stuff, give me advice on how to manage it,” Braxton said.

He also mentions reasons why he does not have others working for him. It is not due to lack of interest but relies more on certain financial aspects and how new the business is.

“The reason why we don’t really have employees is not because people don’t want to work for us. It’s just that personally I don’t want to ask someone to contribute time and effort if I can’t pay them what they’re worth,” Braxton explained. “One of our key objectives for the next three years is to get enough money so we can start hiring more people and pay them a living wage.”

Outside of the business itself, Braxton contributes to the borderland community through non-profit efforts as well.

Assignments, registrations, books and entire classes have been moved online with the rise of technology, as well as streaming services for movies, shows and music. With this advancement of education and entertainment, the need for technological devices is at an all-time high. However, such devices can be inaccessible due to high prices or store unavailability.

Braxton uses his non-profit to help provide certain technological devices on a complete donation basis. The funding for these efforts can be tricky to navigate given how new the business and its earnings are.

“Part of our ways of funding that is taking 20 percent of profits we make from people who buy our products and services and putting it to that fund,” Braxton said.

While managing the economic basis to support this endeavor can require plenty of personal time and financial assets, Braxton still manages to find things for donation through various sites at lower costs. Sometimes he obtains these things from eBay, OfferUp, and Java. According to Braxton, Java has a similar business model to Revcorp PC as it wants to reduce electronic waste and provide technological resources for lower prices in a friendly and accessible manner.

Outside of work and school, Braxton balances his professional life with his hobbies. From reading business books by Simon Sinek, to playing video or tabletop games to working on computer or mechanical builds, he finds each hobby to be as enriching as it is relaxing.

“It helps me take my mind off the business because being an entrepreneur, you’re always thinking about the business so you’re never really off the clock,” Braxton said. “Those hobbies do help me stay centered and just kind of take a break from the entrepreneurship whenever I can.”

Braxton’s anticipated graduation date is within the next year, so he plans to find work outside of Revcorp PC to help maintain stable finances for the company.

“In terms of the business, the next five years are going to be definitely more of a part time pursuit but that’s because I want to devote that time into gaining more capital for myself because it’s mostly a boot-shop business,” he said. “We don’t really want to rely on investors and, usually, most investors if they do see our business model they aren’t really attracted to it.”

Although this could be viewed as discouraging, Braxton sees nothing but opportunity for himself and Revcorp PC in El Paso. He thinks that El Paso has nothing but room to grow, so starting any engineering or electronic environmental efforts here should prove to be successful.

“I do plan to stay in El Paso and I also want Revcorp PC to be more of a local El Paso thing,” Braxton said. “We’ll still do international stuff, but I really want to grow the ecosystem mainly here especially since El Paso is known for its manufacturing.”

Though he may not have had an ideal start to his time at UTEP, he found work and an academic career during his college experience. Thankfully, he finds that his pursuits are both accomplished and meaningful. Braxton initially came to UTEP as a mechanical engineering major who hoped to work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), but the program and his own personal journeys eventually changed his perspective in life.

“Fortunately thanks to the people at the Blackstone Launch Pad, Studio G and even the larger Blackstone network, they really gave me the confidence and a new perspective on what I want to do in life and how I want to accomplish it. Revcorp PC is one of the main representations of that,” Braxton said.

The world of technology and electronics can seem daunting and deeply detached from humanity. With the rapid progression and improvement of the field, gaining access to different technological devices and being able to quickly understand and afford their interfaces seems as impressive as it does impossible for those without the resources.

However, there are still people like Braxton and businesses like Revcorp PC that want to prioritize providing for the community, caring for the environment and creating accessible and open spaces for individuals looking to break into the technological world in a more sustainable way.


En Breve

Traducido por Meagan Garcia and Yoali Rodriguez

Cuando se trata del mundo de la tecnología e ingeniería, es fácil dejarse llevar por ideas como la inteligencia artificial y teorías del avance tecnológico que pueden sustituir el procesamiento humano. Ya sea en temas de mecánica, informática o robótica, es probable que las personas olviden como empezaron, quienes crearon estas innovaciones y que tan útiles son.

Sin embargo, todavía hay gente que trabaja en diversos campos basados en la ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y las matemáticas (STEM por sus siglas en inglés) que se preocupan por cómo estas aplicaciones pueden afectar el medioambiente, finanzas personales y bienestar en general.

Matthew Braxton, de 23 años, es una de las personas que aspira a presentar cambios significativos en la comunidad fronteriza a través de su propia empresa. Estudiante en ingeniería, liderazgo e innovación con estudios secundarios en matemáticas y gestación de empresa, este joven originario de Chicago, ha encontrado pasiones y oportunidades en El Paso.

Braxton es el fundador y consejero delegado de la empresa Revcorp PC, especializada en servicios de reparación y reventa de computadoras.

Comenzando su empresa en el otoño del 2021, Braxton ha dedicado su carrera a hacer un cambio en el medioambiente reduciendo la cantidad de residuos electrónicos producidos en Estados Unidos. Braxton explica como viejos aparatos electrónicos, modelos de teléfono, reproductores de
CD, piezas de computadora y muchos más artefactos terminan considerándose inútiles o inadecuadas. Comentando como estos tipos de desechos crean un hogar a sustancias químicas o toxicas en el suelo o el agua.

Braxton afirma que este es el principal motivo por el cual quiso fundar Revcorp PC, para reducir los residuos electrónicos y darles un nuevo uso ayudando a la comunidad.

Aunque los engranajes de la empresa comenzaron a girar en otoño de 2021, fue en enero del 2022 cuando oficialmente se inauguró como una Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (LLC por sus siglas en inglés) legitima. Braxton habla un poco sobre cómo funciona su negocio y cómo contribuye a reducir los residuos y a proporcionar accesibilidad. Braxton explica como utiliza su organización sin fines de lucro para ayudar a proporcionar ciertos dispositivos tecnológicos a base de donaciones completas. Utilizando el 20 por ciento de sus ganancias a la causa principal.

Braxton piensa en crecer su presencia local. En un principio, Braxton llegó a UTEP como estudiante de ingeniería mecánica con la esperanza de trabajar para la Administración Nacional de Aeronáutica y del Espacio (NASA por sus siglas en inglés), pero el programa y sus propios viajes personales cambiaron su perspectiva. Empujándolo a crear un negocio local que sigue creciendo aquí en El Paso e internacionalmente..

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Minero Magazine Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *