MarkITx is a transparent B2B marketplace to buy, sell & trade used IT equipment.

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Meet MarkITx, the ‘New York Stock Exchange of IT’

Used computer equipment — such as servers, switches and hard drives used by corporations and governments — is a commodity, so why not trade it like one?

That is the mantra of Frank Muscarello, 42, founder and CEO of MarkITx, an online exchange for enterprise IT hardware. MarkITx connects buyers and sellers, and inspects and refurbishes the equipment through one of its certified partners.

“We’re building a central clearing firm, right in the backyard of some of the largest clearing firms and trading firms in the world,” Mr. Muscarello said. “We like to say we’re the New York Stock Exchange of IT, where the only thing that matters in a marketplace is liquidity.”

He launched the company in April 2012 and now has $80 million in inventory on the site. After starting at incubator 1871, MarkITx moved out and recently raised $2.2 million in capital on top of the $1.1 million raised at the end of last year.

To watch the video and to see more of Lisa Leiter’s Entrepreneurs in Action series, click here.

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A New Way to Buy & Sell Used IT Equipment

The buying and selling of used IT equipment is not a trivial market, but it doesn’t get enormous attention. In many cases, enterprises unload used equipment as a trade-in or at bargain price to a wholesaler because they just want the equipment off the floor.

A new Chicago-based startup says it has developed a system to help enterprises get as much value out of their old IT equipment as possible.

The company, MarkITx, is running an online system for selling equipment, but it’s not a new version of an eBay-like system. The seller and buyer remain invisible to each other, the money goes in escrow, and the transaction may even involve third-party vendors to refurbish

Ben Blair, the CTO of MarkITx, said the exchange works like “a two-sided market” rather than an auction. Buyers post what price they want to pay for particular piece of equipment, including condition and quantity. Sellers post the quantity and current condition of the equipment they are selling and what amount they want to receive for it.

Blair provided this example: A telecom operator wants to sell a few cabinets of Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) systems for $2.1 million, and a financial exchange operator is seeking a UCS for their back office.

MarkITx puts a value on the equipment, and in this case it recommends selling the Cisco equipment at $1 million, based on a range of $800,000 to $1.2 million. The telco lists all their equipment at the suggested price, but each unit is listed as a separate item at its fair market value. If the buyer and seller agree on the price, the trade is executed automatically and the payment is put in escrow with MarkITx.

Once that happens, the telco is then given shipping instructions to an OEM- or ISO-certified refurbisher that MarkITx is working with. That third party inspects the equipment, test and verifies it, and the equipment is delivered to the buyer. When the buyer accepts the equipment, the funds in escrow are released.

MarkITx will also bring the equipment up to the condition that buyer wants. For example, a seller is offering 10 rack-mount LCD KVMs at $200 each but in “C” condition. However, the buyer wants them in “A” condition, with replaced back panels and polished glass. The refurbisher says it will cost $100 per unit to bring the equipment to “A” condition, and if the buyer is willing to pay $300 per unit, the trade executes.

Blair said the company, which began operating last May but just launched publicly this month, is clearing about $1 million in transactions a month. It has $5.5 million in supply on the market, and $13.5 million in demand, he said. The bulk of its customers are in telecom, data center, education and government. The company is paid by the seller through a default commission of 20%, but it has membership plans for lower commissions.

Blair believes there is an opportunity for the company because he says many enterprises are only interested in getting rid of their equipment, not in maximizing its potential resale value. They believe that once IT departments investigate the potential resale of some of the equipment through their market, their minds will change.

“[Wholesalers] make their spread off ignorance,” said Blair, who said his company’s model ensures offering transparency on price.

According to IDC, the market for used equipment in the U.S. is about $70 billion.

Joseph Pucciarelli, an analyst at IDC, said that a lot of companies are restrained on what they can spend on capital equipment, and purchase used equipment to augment their existing systems. In many cases, they buy used equipment to keep compatibility with existing systems as way to keep their “support footprint” from expanding, he said.

Pucciarelli said companies typicall will unload used equipment to an original equipment manaufacturer (OEM) as part of a trade-in on an upgrade.

The company doing the upgrade won’t get top dollar for their old IT equipment, but they may not see a selling alternative as worth their time, said Pucciarelli. Relative to the overall size of the transaction in an equipment upgrade, “you are talking about something that is pennies on the dollar [for the used systems,]” he said.


Original Post from Computer World by Patrick Thibodeau

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MarkITx Raises $1.06 Million to Begin Disrupting a $348 Billion Industry

MarkITx has some exciting news we thought was worth sharing. We’ve raised over $1.06 million in angel funding which will allow us to move forward quicker than ever to begin disrupting a $348 billion industry, an industry that is currently screaming for disruption. For the past year our team has been hard at work building out a product that will make the process of buying, selling and upgrading IT equipment painless and most importantly we’ll provide real-time data analysis of the market which will ultimately help our members make smarter business decisions on behalf of their company. Thank you for your continued support, we cannot tell you how thrilled we are to continue building this platform out to reach its greatest potential. It’s nothing but up from here, folks!

Check out the announcement released in the press:

MarkITx, a transparent marketplace for buyers, sellers and wholesalers of secondary IT equipment, today announced that it has raised more than $1.06 million in angel funding led by Michael Balkin, Francis Wisnewski, Jack Keenan, John Ward and joined by other prominent Chicago Business Leaders.

Founded in 2012, MarkITx has developed a technology platform with a unique and proprietary algorithm to offer predictive pricing around the exact value of the depreciating IT. It allows for a major market disruption in a marketplace where there are currently no trusted, neutral parties, no clear brand leader or governance.

MarkITx’s unique platform manages the exchange of IT hardware, providing buyers and sellers with a real-time, transparent view of the secondary market. Using the platform, sellers are able to ship equipment to MarkITx’s OEM-certified partners where everything is inspected and refurbished before being sent on to the buyer. When delivery is accepted, money is released from escrow. Gartner estimates the secondary IT market is $348 Billion worldwide.

“We founded MarkITx with the vision to address a much needed void in the IT marketplace,” remarked serial entrepreneur and MarkITx Founder/CEO, Frank Muscarello. “MarkITx will effectively level the secondary, IT playing field by accurately and clearly communicating supply and demand to determine actual value.

Since kicking-off in April, MarkITx has already approximately $10M in Demand and $900,000 in Supply posted on its platform with a majority coming from Cisco Networking equipment and Apple iPads for the B2B space. MarkITx is using its seed financing to scale its team to meet customer demand and further build out its platform.

The leadership team consists of experienced entrepreneurs, Ben Blair, Marc Brooks and Muscarello, all of whom bring an understanding of both the trading and technology industries.

Muscarello commented on the fundraising “This is the first step in taking MarkITx toward the ultimate goal of revolutionizing the way that hardware is traded Globally. This funding is a small step towards achieving our goals and we look forward to changing the dynamics of the IT community. I want to thank our members for believing in MarkITx and our team, as well as our initial investors for their continued support.”

About MarkITx 
MarkITx is the premier online marketplace for buyers, sellers and wholesalers of secondary IT equipment. Launched in 2012, the site is already causing a major market disruption in the IT marketplace with over $1.0 million in transactions, $10.0 million in demand, and just under $1.0 million in supply. For more information, visit


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iPads in the Classroom and Their Continued Growth

When you think about the integration of technology into classrooms it seems like just yesterday when we were referring to the use of big PC desktops, high-tech projectors, and scientific calculators. A few years later and all that has changed. Last quarter Apple reportedly sold 17 million iPads, 1 million of these were to the education market alone. That’s incredible considering the sales are still growing strong for those iPads being implemented into schools this fall.

“The adoption rate of iPad in education is something I’ve never seen from any technology product in history,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “Usually, education tends to be a fairly conservative institution in terms of buying, or K-12 does, and we’re not seeing that at all on the iPad.” A majority of schools purchased the iPad 2 for $399 (about $100 less than the new iPad). The drop in price point seemed to open up the door to schools, especially those in the K-12 range.

It’s just like a new toy – everyone wants to be the first to own it, hence all the schools jumping on board. The iPad is on its way to becoming an instrumental education device that won’t be going out of style anytime soon. What makes the iPad so perfectly unique is that it’s adaptable to nearly any curriculum with its numerous apps and software which will surely be updated to align closely with teacher’s lessons. Not only are iPads more affordable than most computers and laptops, but they are mobile, allowing students to continue their education and assignments beyond the classroom. A majority of staff members hope this integration will instill a passion for learning in their students as well as help to improve teaching and engagement in general. It’s clear that the use of iPads in the classroom is rapidly increasing and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. For those that haven’t kept up with the recent deploying of iPads, check out some of the schools below:

Burlington High School, MA: 1,000 iPads – wonderful blog, “Learning In Burlington” straight from the school’s Assistant Superintendent himself. Takes a look back at year one after implementing iPads into their school system – great insight.

Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, IN:  900 iPads – “Indy schools issuing iPads to students as they embrace technology” 

East Alton Elementary School, Illinois: 650 iPads will be implemented for it’s 1:1 iPad Student Program. The school will pay Apple $129,000 per year for 4 years and can buy the iPads for $1 after the 4 years are up – “The Latest, Biggest, Baddest iPad Deployments” 

El Paso Public Schools: 7,200 iPads – About a third of a nearly $9.9 million grant will be used to purchase the iPads – “28,000 EPISD students to use iPads in fall”

Farmington Schools: 1,730 iPads – “The iPad is Changing Schools”

Hopi Elementary: 180 iPads – donated to students by the Hopi Dad’s Club – “iPads to usher in new era of education at Hopi Elementary” 

Johnston High School: iPads for every 10th, 11th and 12th grader for a price tag of $1.42 million over three years – “Johnston School Board OKs Concept of iPad for Every High School Student”

Knox Public Schools: 56,000 iPads by 2015 – Every student in all 87 of Knox County’s public schools will have access to an iPad – “The iPad is Changing Schools”

Manhattan Beach Unified School: 75% of students will bring their own Apple tablets, cost of the program’s expansion is said to be about $400,000 – “iPads For All at Rich Manhattan Beach Middle School”

Mansfield High School: 10,600 iPads – every high school student and teacher will get an iPad this fall with a $6.5 million program that was approved – “All Mansfield high schoolers will get an iPad”

McAllen Independent School District: 25,000 iPads – “Meet the District Rolling out 25,000 iPads and iPods”

Regis College: 1,250 ipads – College only has eyes for iPads”

Sandwich High Schools: 450 iPads – School district has purchased 450 iPad 3s at $550 apiece for all freshman and sophomores totaling about $247,500 – “Sandwich High embrace iPad ideal”

San Diego Unified School District: 26,000 iPads – At $370, each iPad 2 costs the district about $30 less than the widespread retail price “San Diego Invests in 26,000 iPads for School District”

Utica High School: 500 iPads – Four-year lease program giving the school an option to purchase the equipment from Apple – “Utica High School students to get iPads”

Valley Center Middle School:  225 iPads – At about $400 apiece, the school is using $350,000 to purchase the new gadgets – “iPads in the Classroom”

Wayland Schools – 1350 iPads – Each iPad will cost the district $379 plus a $35 protective case – “Wayland schools takes the iPad leap this fall”

West Michigan Aviation Academy – 240 iPads – “iPads for all West Michigan Aviation Academy students coming this fall” 

Wyckoff Public Schools – 125 iPads – The district’s cost for each unit is very close to the $500 price point for the average consumer – “Wyckoff Public Schools Receive $50,000 to Enhance iPad Program”

Zeeland Public Schools – 1800 iPads – “iPads in Classroom”