Investing in the Future

Anton van Happen '08

June 10, 2013:

After Anton van Happen graduated from Menlo College in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, he helped manage the family business, opening new clothing retail stores around Europe. During a trip to Dubai, he noticed people getting their cars washed while they were at shopping malls. This gave him an idea for a start-up: producing and selling eco-friendly car wash products that could be used without water.

“Green technology is the future and with our innovative products you use one cup of water instead of the gallons you would use at a regular car wash. Traditional car washes use between 50-100 gallons of water per car, so we are saving millions of gallons of water per year. It is about preserving the planet, and doing so while getting top quality products for your car. The demand for our products is growing rapidly and with regulations on water consumption and ground-water pollution, the opportunities ahead are enormous.” 

From its South San Francisco warehouse, Eco Green Auto Clean ships its products to 155 distributors in the U.S. and in 100 countries world-wide. Anton sees continuous growth in the near future, with big plans for next year expanding the business with franchises. From there on the company expects to grow by 10-15 franchises a year on top of their product sales.

The first location for a car wash was no coincidence; it was going to be their showroom for the world. “In Silicon Valley people are not scared of trying new things, they welcome and embrace innovation. Later the rest of the world follows. Venture capitalists come in and want to invest in our company, but for now we are doing well with our own funds. One of the best things about our company is that we enjoy full control of the whole production chain from production to distribution and finally sales.” We are officially Tesla’s detail product provider and recently, Google opened a car wash for their employees that uses our products. “Needless to say, this would not have happened if we were  located anywhere else other than Silicon Valley.”

“Menlo College’s location, Silicon Valley, is great for networking, and contacts can be the difference between success and failure,” Anton says. “Advice to Menlo College entrepreneurs: believe in your idea and focus on showing revenue. When you are banging your head against a brick wall, and everyone tells you to stop, keep going.”

Eco Green Auto Clean is located at
2801 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94061
www.ecogreenautoclean.com