The 2022 Women of the Year Awards: Rising Stars – Winner – Prishita Agarwal

One of the winners of the Rising Stars category of The 2022 Women of the Year Awards is Prishita Agarwal, co-founder of Rescued Glass.

Prishita Agarwal
Co-founder, Rescued Glass

An entrepreneur through and through, Prishita Agarwal, whose family dinner table was always abuzz with business talk, launched a startup at age 14. At boarding school in Bangalore, Agarwal noticed that her peers were struggling with their mental health, so she founded Shock-o-holic. 

“Once a month, our subscribers would get a mystery box,” she says. “They didn’t know what’s in the box or when they’re going to get it, and that surprise element really made them happy.” The endeavour grew into a business with a team of seven and ran for four years.

Agarwal, who grew up in Surat, India, moved to Vancouver in 2019 to study finance and sustainability at UBC Sauder School of Business. Now in her third year, she launched Rescued Glass last October to solve a local problem. “In Vancouver, there aren’t a lot of glass recycling systems or procedures in place,” says Agarwal, 20, who is also an account executive intern at Procter & Gamble.

After some research, which included conversations with companies like Return-It and Recycle BC, she created a hyper-local business model. “We collect local glass, upcycle it in a local micro-factory—which is less than 10 people—and sell the products locally.” 

Backed by a team of 15 UBC students, Rescued Glass has salvaged some 5,500 bottles so far. It operates much like Vancouver-based global business ChopValue, which upcycles chopsticks in local micro-factories. 

The model is sustainable and replicable in any city or town, Agarwal says. “This works, especially in B.C., because there are so many small islands. Every island can have its own micro-factory and its own Rescued Glass franchise.”