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Students engineer paper-saving software

By eliminating waste from printing, companies can benefit the environment while also saving big.

That is how Arpan Shah, senior in Business, came up with the idea of PrintEco, a software plug-in for Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer that optimizes pages by removing unneeded images, content and spacing – automatically printing less.

During his summer internship at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Shah noticed the large amount of waste that accumulated on a daily basis.

“My cubicle was right next to the printer and there was always blank pieces of paper on the floor and in the recycling bin,” Shah said. “It got me thinking, how can I solve this problem?”

He entered a business competition and teamed up with other University of Illinois students to create software that can help fix this problem. Other members of the team include Tom Patterson, senior in Engineering, and Purvik Bhesania, senior in Business.

When you choose the option to “PrintEco,” you can see how many pages can be reduced and how much carbon dioxide you can save. The software also tracks how much money your organization is saving and your environmental impact.

“Even though one print job doesn’t seem like a huge amount, when you extrapolate over thousands of print jobs, it adds up,” Bhesania said.

If companies decide to use the software, over an extended period of time, it will add up to a large reduction in waste.

Work on the software began in June and is now being tested by University of Illinois Enterprise Applications. The team is looking to partner with other companies at the University and plans to offer them a free trial of the software.

“We have a lot more help here (at the University of Illinois), than if we were somewhere else,” Patterson said.

The software is also being tested by a Fortune 500 company,

The team is part of the Illinois Launch Program in the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which provides workshops, funding, opportunities for involvement in business competitions and mentors to help support and develop new businesses.

Other students who are co-founders and team members of PrintEco are Chris Cortez, Thomas Jacobs, K. Dubey and Joe Cajindos.

If you would like to contact the team for a free trial or are interested in getting more information about the software you can visit their website at www.printecosoftware.com.

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