Solution Overview

Solution Name:

iThrone: the waste-evaporating toilet

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One-line solution summary:

iThrone is a no-flush toilet that turns waste to pure vapor to extend safe, clean sanitation to communities with no flushing infrastructure

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Pitch your solution.

Globally, 4.2Bn people lack safe sanitation because they live in places with no sewage plumbing. Without flushing, communities get messy and removing sewage is VERY costly. change:WATER Labs has developed the "iThrone", a drop-in, no-flush/waterless toilet that SHRINKS waste onsite by evaporating it, converting it to pure water vapor (bit.ly/evapanim). Human waste is 95% water. The iThrone uses a novel breathable, compostable membrane (aka “shrink-wrap-for-crap”) to dehydrate and shrink waste (bit.ly/2019cWLdemo), evaporating or “flushing away” 90-95% of daily onsite volumes. The iThrone not only doesn’t use or pollute water, it actually converts waste back INTO pure water (vapor). By quickly shrinking daily waste at the point-of-use, the iThrone drastically shrinks costs and effort of collecting decentralized sewage-waste. By untethering sanitation from power or plumbing infrastructure, and by shrinking costs of distributed sanitation, the iThrone extends safe, clean, dignified and sustainable toilet-access to poor and vulnerable communities.

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What specific problem are you solving?

50% of us lack access to safe, clean toilets, largely because they live in places with no sewage plumbing. Without access to safe, private toilets in or near home, many people are forced to use dangerous alternatives (open defecation, pits, etc). Poor sanitation traps people in perpetual poverty, poor health and pollution--causing 80% of all infection, 4% of all deaths, and taking one child’s life every 20sec. Women and girls are particularly harmed, because going in public exposes them to daily risk of sexual violence. Lack of toilets in 45% of schools globally leads 20% of girls to drop out by puberty. Without flushing, sewage floods crowded communities and removing it is dangerous and costly!

Providing safe sanitation often requires trade-offs between excessive water-use, energy-use and/or cost. Flush-toilets use ~10-bathtubs of clean water/day to get rid of a bucket’s-worth of waste. To avoid over-flowing, no-flush toilets need almost-daily emptying—which is un-scalable and un-sustainable. We need a more sustainable solutions, especially for fast-growing, water-stressed and/or environmentally-vulnerable communities. In solving sanitation, we can elevate these communities--promoting health, dignity, gender empowerment, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity--with just one intervention: a smarter, lower-cost, cleaner, more-sustainable, more-accessible (drop-in) toilet. 

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What is your solution?

For communities with no sewage plumbing, change:WATER has developed a solution to make sanitation more accessible, affordable, safer and cleaner--by re-inventing flushing. Human waste is 95% water. Instead of flushing waste, we EVAPORATE it! We’ve developed the "iThrone", a drop-in, no-flush toilet SHRINKS waste onsite, by converting it to pure water vapor and power (bit.ly/evapanim). Human waste is 95% water, so the iThrone uses 2 novel technologies to “flush” it away: (1) “shrink-wrap for crap”, a low-cost membrane that dehydrates waste by soaking up and evaporating its water content (bit.ly/2019cWLdemo); and (2) a “pee-powered bio-battery” that converts urine into electricity (bit.ly/2019peepower). The iThrone uses an evaporative pouch of our membrane to collect and shrink human waste. The pee-powered biobattery uses urine in the toilet to self-power internal ventilation to help speed up waste-evaporation and get rid of toilet odors. By quickly shrinking unflushed waste at the point-of-use, the iThrone cuts sewage-removal collection costs and frequencies, and cleans up communities. Because it needs no hookups to power or plumbing infrastructure, the iThrone is a low-cost, drop-in solution making clean toilets available and accessible to anyone anywhere—including people in crowded slums, emergency situations and informal communities/settlements.   

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

At the core of our design & implementation processes are the needs & preferences of our target users, as well as capacity & constraints within their communities. Using our Uganda deployment as an example, we engaged users & local partners at each stage of product development & delivery. A full year before our toilet was designed, we travelled to Kiboga, Uganda to gather input from all key stakeholders. We held workshops with community members to ask about their challenges & preferences around sanitation. Particularly insightful were our workshops with a local women’s group & girl students of the District School, who provided us critical insights for our ultimate toilet design. We developed a partnership with the local Hospital to host our pilot, & learned about the negative health impacts of the currently-available sanitation options in the community. We engaged with local public health & WASH NGO’s who ultimately became implementation & servicing partners for our deployment. We also enlisted the support of the local government official who wanted to leverage our effort to create local jobs in waste collection servicing & circular sanitation economy initiatives. This official forged a partnership for us with the Departments of Agriculture & Forestry to explore waste-conversion, to monetize collected waste as fertilizer to support local agriculture & commercial forestry. These local inputs shaped our ultimate toilet design & pilot planning. We finally deployed our toilets to Kiboga in Feb 2020. The early & continuous engagement & input from the constituents & local partners were critical to the ultimate success of our pilot. The toilets provided unprecedent access to clean, improved sanitation for 400 poor or refugee women & girls in this community. The user feedback was universally positive, & the toilets provided hygienic sanitation (with complete containment of any waste or odors) in close proximity to the District Hospital & the District School.


Sewage waste that isn’t collected poisons precious freshwater resources and emits 4% of man-made methane emissions. Poor sanitation is responsible for 80% of all infectious disease spread, 4% of deaths and takes 1 child’s life every 20 secs. Girls and women who lack private toilet access are forced to relieve themselves in public, exposing them to daily risk of rape and sanitation-related gender-based violence. Lack of safe toilets in 45% of the world’s schools contributes to 20%+ of girls dropping out by puberty, thus trapping them in lives of poverty. Even in developed countries like the US, impoverished and marginalized populations suffer from poor sanitation due to under-investment in infrastructure. 

Current options to deal with human waste (especially in cities) aren’t scalable or sustainable, and are bad for the planet. Flushing waste needlessly consume 50-200x more water. However, when flushing isn’t an option, sewage has to be collected frequently and hauled away, which is messy, dangerous, costly, consuming excessive fuel. To ensure that everyone everywhere has access to safe, scalable and sustainable sanitation,  we need a new way to “flush”—a clean, low-cost, low-carbon, waterless, solution that requires no pipes, power or plumbing. 



In rich & poor countries, vulnerable populations (indigenous, migrant, homeless, rural & poverty-stricken) often lack access to proper sanitation due to under-investment in infrastructure or impermanent housing.

At a systems level, our innovation allows toilets to be more accessible & available. Our solution can be installed anywhere & enables safe, clean, dignified sanitation to be scalable, sustainable & more broadly accessible. Our toilet costs 4-5x less than comparables to install & service. Our innovation enables drastic scaling up of sewage collection services (>50% lower collection costs & 3-20x increased collection coverage). 

So our toilets make safe sanitation more broadly available and installable anywhere, reduce the costs of installing and servicing off-line toilets, and make sewage collection much more scalable, sustainable and profitable. 

Our disruptive toilet solution will increase access to sanitation for poor/vulnerable populations. Our solution is a SINGLE intervention that impacts MANY social & environmental challenges: poverty, health, environmental sustainability, food security, energy/water access, & gender empowerment. At a systems level, our innovation allows toilets to be more accessible & available. Our solution can be installed anywhere & enables safe, clean, dignified sanitation to be scalable, sustainable & more broadly accessible. Our toilet costs 4-5x less than comparables to install & service. Our innovation enables drastic scaling up of sewage collection services (>50% lower collection costs & 3-20x increased collection coverage). By completely hygienically containing waste, it cleans up communities, reduces pollution & avoids straining local water resources. By increasing safe sanitation access, our solution promotes healthier, more fulfilled lives, & improved safety & future prospects for vulnerable families. Just one of our toilets reduces exposure for people in a 0.25-0.5km radius to vector-borne disease spread. Unlike most onsite sanitation options, our toilet can be located closer to where people live & work, because it completely contains waste & smell—allowing it to be much more readily accessible to females, rendering them less susceptible to sanitation-related gender-based violence. Our solution has the potential to close the sanitation gap in the 45% of schools lacking proper toilets, making it easier for girls to stay in school. 


Our solution targets the growing need to safe, clean, green low-cost, drop-in sanitation for vulnerable and low-resource communities, environmentally-sensitive areas (eg coastal regions, water-stressed areas), crowded urban slums, displacement camps and informal situations. We have developed a solution that is compact, can be installed anywhere without needing hookups to infrastructure, is easy to use, and drastically reduces servicing and maintenance costs and frequencies. 

Our solution benefits every actor along the sanitation value chain: end-users, WASH advocates, local servicers, local governments, NGOs, construction contractors, health officials, etc.

For end-users, our solution makes safe, clean toilets more immediately and conveniently accessible. 

For servicers, our solution greatly reduces waste-collection costs and frequencies while also increasing their ability to scale their servicing coverage.

For governments and NGOs, our toilets provide an immediately-effective, safe, clean, low-cost drop-in solution.

For construction-contractors, our solution solves the issue of installing toilets where no supporting infrastructure pre-exists. 

Last year, we successfully piloted our first iThrone toilets in Kiboga District, a low-resource urban area in Uganda. Our toilets provided unprecedented access to safe, clean, dignified toilets for 400 women and girls. Our toilets enabled cleaner, more dignified and hygienic sanitation, with no waste leaks or discharge, and no odor. They successfully demonstrated 6-10x onsite waste volume reductions, thus proving the economic value proposition to reduce cost and frequencies for waste collection. In addition, the District Government is interested to utilize the collected waste--monetizing the collected, concentrated urine as fertilizer for local agriculture, and the dried feces as fertilizer for commercial forestry. Because the toilets were completely hygienic and emitted no odor, they can also be placed in the midst of crowded communities, hopefully helping to reduce women- and girls' vulnerability to sanitation-related gender-based violence. 

Following this pilot, we now have active interest from around the globe to adapt our technology to a number of additional applications: to provide clean, improved sanitation to non-sewered homes for poor and indigenous families in Mexico and mountainous regions of Panama; safe, clean toilets for Syrian Refugee Settlements in Turkey; populations living on boats and in coastal areas in India; and as a green toilet option for new sustainable home designs in East Asia. 

Our approach to off-line sanitation uniquely tackles the one intransigent challenge of distribute waste: we cut the burden and the cost by converting waste QUICKLY and ONSITE. And our solution does it in a way that is LOW-COST and GOOD FOR THE PLANET--by converting waste into pure molecular water and power. Our toilet is the truly green toilet--saving money and the planet. Our drop-in anywhere solution solves the key challenges that other toilet innovations have not yet been able to solve--quickly shrinking waste inside the toilet itself. No other sanitation solution can achieve rapid, clean, low-cost onsite waste-elimination without flushing. Our technology is hugely disruptive, enabling safe, clean, easily-deployable sanitation anywhere—increasing access while reducing costs. 

Poor sanitation traps impoverished or displaced communities in perpetual poverty, poor health & pollution—in both rich & poor countries. We envision a future where everyone can have access to safe, clean, dignified toilets in their homes & communities. We envision a future where communities, especially the children, have reduced exposure to sanitation-related diseases (eg diarrhea, cholera, hepatitis, trachoma, leprosy, etc) & other developmentally diseases resulting from poor sanitation (eg malnutrition). In cleaning up unsewered communities, these vulnerable populations can thrive in health & improved prosperity. Just one of our toilets reduces exposure for people in a 0.25-0.5km radius to vector-borne disease spread. Reduced disease burden means communities can be more productive & prosperous. The WHO estimates economic losses of poor sanitation at ~$260Bn/yr. Unlike most onsite sanitation options, our toilet can be located closer to where people live & work, because it completely contains waste & smell. So, our toilet can be much more readily accessible to people in crowded communities (eg slums, displacement settlements). In many countries, close proximity to clean, safe toilets also reduces the risk of sanitation-related gender-based violence for women & girls (which is not a rare occurrence). We hope to also increase toilet access in the 45% of schools around that world that lack proper toilets, which can help more girls stay in school & complete their educations. This makes them less susceptible to early marriage & childbearing (which all but traps them in lives of subjugation and/or poverty). When girls can thrive, their communities & future families can thrive. Our solution will also improve safe water access & sustainability in these communities. Our toilet avoids wasting & polluting the enormous amounts of water required for flushing. By completely hygienically containing waste, our solution reduces sewage discharge & pollution of local water resources.


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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Other
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Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

Without flushing, removing sewage is VERY costly. The "iThrone" deals with onsite waste by converting it to pure water vapor and renewable power. Our evaporative sanitation solution aims to get safe, clean, scalable sanitation to places where people can’t flush. The iThrone not only doesn’t use or pollute water, it actually converts waste back INTO molecular water. By quickly dehydrating daily waste at the point-of-use, the iThrone drastically cuts sanitation-related carbon emissions (methane-offgassing from raw sewage, fuel use from frequent waste collection). It shrinks the amount of waste we have to deal with, and renders waste amenable to biofeedstock conversion.

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Cambridge, MA, USA
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Pilot: An organization deploying a tested product, service, or business model in at least one community.
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Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

We deployed our first iThrones to Kiboga in Feb 2020. The toilets provided unprecedent access to clean, improved sanitation for 400 poor or refugee women & girls in this community. The user feedback was universally positive, & the toilets provided hygienic sanitation (with complete containment of any waste or odors) in close proximity to the District Hospital & the District School. Our toilets enabled cleaner, more dignified and hygienic sanitation, with no waste leaks or discharge, and no odor. They successfully demonstrated 6-10x onsite waste volume reductions, thus proving the economic value proposition to reduce cost and frequencies for waste collection. Because the toilets were completely hygienic and emitted no odor, they can also be placed in the midst of crowded communities, hopefully helping to reduce women- and girls' vulnerability to sanitation-related gender-based violence. 

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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Diana Yousef, Founder/CEO of change:WATER Labs

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new technology
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What makes your solution innovative?

Our iThrone is the only off-line toilet that can get rid of onsite waste quickly, cheaply and cleanly when flushing isn’t an option. Our drop-in anywhere solution solves the key challenges that other non-flush toilets have not yet been able to solve--quickly shrinking waste inside the toilet itself.

 

The key challenges with distributed sanitation are: onsite accumulation, frequently and costly removal, and disposal. Our technology addresses ALL of these: it enables the only non-flush option that can eliminate daily waste onsite at a rate similar to how fast it accumulates. This onsite waste-shrinkage greatly reduces collection costs and frequencies. And it gets rid of the waste by converting it into something CLEAN—molecular water (and, in future, renewable power).

 

With our proprietary evaporative membrane and bio-battery technologies, the iThrone is completely stand-alone, self-powered and “self-flushing”. Our technology untethers rapid, onsite waste-removal from flushing infrastructure, thus making clean sanitation available to anyone anywhere. 

 

Our solution enables LOW-COST sanitation access that is GOOD FOR THE PLANET. Shrinking waste fast at the point-of-production completely transforms the economics of “off-line” sanitation—allowing increased toilet-access and servicing-efficiency/scalability while cutting installation, collection and disposal costs. Our toilet is the truly green toilet--saving money and the environment. Our technology is hugely disruptive, enabling safe, clean, easily-deployable sanitation anywhere. So, ultimately, the iThrone will get safe sanitation to more people at lower cost. Our solution will help clean up communities, conserve water and contribute to reducing the 4% of man-made methane emitted from unmanaged raw sewage.

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Biomimicry
  • Biotechnology / Bioengineering
  • Materials Science
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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • Pregnant Women
  • LGBTQ+
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Elderly
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Persons with Disabilities
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Uganda
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13. Climate Action
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • India
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

Currently, our 2 iThrones in Kiboga, Uganda serve 400 people with safer/improved sanitation. Each iThrone serves 20-50 users/day, and also has potential to reduce vector-borne disease spread in crowded urban areas (ie ~500-1000 people in the surrounding 0.25-0.5km). 

In one year, we expect to have 4000 iThrones deployed, providing between 80K-200K users per day (and 24MM-60MM users per year) with improved sanitation, and reducing vector-borne disease exposure to 2MM-4MM people in those communities. 

In 5yrs, we expect to have at least 150K units deployed, providing 

3MM-7.5MM users per day (and 900MM-2.3Bn uses per year) with improved sanitation, and reducing vector-borne disease exposure to 75MM-150MM people in those communities. 

Additionally, our iThrones confer significant environmental benefits and help low-resource communities to be more resilient. One iThrone could conserve ~20K-130K gal/household/yr of water versus flush-toilets (which waste ~10 bathtubs-worth of clean water every day to get rid of 1 bucketful of waste). By shrinking sewage, we could conserve 9-45 MM gal gasoline/toilet/year from reduced collection/haulage. One iThrone could avoid 5-10Tg/household/yr of methane emissions from raw sewage (equivalent to driving 1500-3000mi/yr)--by rapidly dehydrating the sewage and cutting off microbial methane emissions. (About 4% of man-made methane emissions come from distributed, untreated waste. Our waste-drying technology helps to fight climate change.) 

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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

With our single solution, we have potential to deliver cross-cutting impact and address 9 out of 17 SDGs (#6, #3, #1, #4, #5, #11, #13, #7 and #16). Our toilets allow for safe, clean sanitation to be available anywhere, especially in places with no power or plumbing. It is a very universally-adaptable solution. Regarding direct impact metrics, this waste-shrinking will help sanitation systems and services be much more scalable and sustainable (economically and environmentally), paving the way for safe, clean sanitation to be more accessible and available. Specifically, measurable impacts would include: COST and OPERATIONAL IMPROVEMENTS: (a) COST: reductions in deployment and servicing costs for distributed sanitation (vs comparables); reduced operational costs (from savings on water procurement, chemical inputs, waste dumping costs); (b) OPERATIONS: reduced collection frequencies vs comparable container-based toilets; increased capacity (and revenues) for waste collection servicers to service more distributed sanitation networks with their current fleet sizes; (c) ACCESSIBILITY: increased accessibility and proximity to safe, clean toilets; (d) ADOPTION: sales, deployments and numbers of users; qualitative user feedback; (e) ENVIRONMENTAL: volumes of waste collected and averted from the environment, reduced water wastage, reduced fuel usage from less frequent waste collection, reduced waste disposal volumes.

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

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How many people work on your solution team?

We have 5 full-time team-members (CEO, 4 engineers), and two part-time (senior engineer, chief marketing officer). We are onboarding 2-3 contractors as we are scaling our operations this summer.

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How long have you been working on your solution?

6 years

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our team has been working on this vision since 2015, bringing together 50yrs  of successful technology innovation, commercialization and scale market deployment--leveraging complementary experiences from venture finance, business strategy, water-systems engineering, hardware and military equipment development, cleantech innovation and international development. Our breakthrough technologies evolve from NASA- & DOE-funded research efforts. Our founder/CEO, Dr. Diana Yousef, PhD, MBA, who initially conceived of evaporative sanitation, has 15+ yrs experience commercializing scientific/technology innovations for social impact. Previously, Diana was a serial cleantech & social entrepreneur, venture investor, McKinsey consultant, and international development innovator at UNDP & the WorldBank/IFC. She a former biochemist (BA, Harvard; PhD, Cornell), & holds an MBA & MA in International Development (Columbia). Huda Elasaad, MS, MS (co-Founder) brings 10+ yrs of expertise designing, engineering and deploying municipal-scale water- and sewage-treatment systems in MENA and South America, and years of applied academic training at MIT & U.Michigan. As a serial water-tech entrepreneur, she expertly leads our engineering team, product development efforts and manages key strategic partnerships. Paul Martin, MCP career spans 20yrs leading sales, marketing organizations (including for Adobe and 3 successfully-exited digital marketing startups), as well as experience in urban planning and designing around distributed service deliver in India and Brazil. He holds a BA in Social Studies from Harvard and MA Urban Design & Planning (MIT). Our dedicated team of engineers, whose passion, dedication and creativity brought us from ideation to pilot, include: Yashik Gabbaladka (industrial engineering/fabrication); Hayley Walker (mechanical engineering); Andrew Ollerhead (chemical engineering).

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What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

Our leadership team consists of 3 first-generation Americans: two Egyptian-American women and an LBGTQ Latino man. We three organically understand the struggle for underrepresented minorities to be considered and to earn a chance at opportunity. We are absolutely committed to building a company that reflects our values around inclusion and diversity, and to help spread opportunity to groups that have been shut out or left behind. CEO Diana Yousef was driven to launch change:WATER as a result of becoming a mother and finding herself pushed aside professionally. Gender-opportunity became her driving force to prove to her young daughters that women and girls don’t need to ask permission to thrive and strive in this world, but instead they can chart their own paths. So, even on the days when Diana really struggled to keep going with this venture, her mission to prove to her 3 girls that mothers and women can have self-determined and ambitious careers kept her going during the difficult times. So, as a company, we put a focus on gender diversity at all levels of our company. Also, part of cWL’s core mission is to empower women, girls and vulnerable groups by improving their dignity, safety, healthy, access to opportunity and education, and chances at prosperity—by giving them a clean, safe solution for their daily struggle with sanitation access.

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Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Organizations (B2B)
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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

We really benefited from our previous involvement in SOLVE (2019). One of our SOLVE judges become an investor who has since provided invaluable guidance. Plus the award money from the Healty Cities Prize and Innospark came at a critical moment for us when we needed to fund our Uganda pilot deployment. Plus we’ve benefited from the Prize platforms and the network overall.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Business model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Legal or Regulatory Matters
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)
  • Monitoring & Evaluation (e.g. collecting/using data, measuring impact)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. expanding client base)
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Please explain in more detail here.

Human capital: Our biggest need right now is recruiting—we are growing fast and need to find the right talent.

Product Market fit: Our solution addresses such an enormous problem, that we need all the guidance we can get to adapt our solution to the different variables that determine need and feasibility across the many geographies and applications.

Legal: As we grow and engage with a more global set of partners, we need help to navigate contracts, outlicensing, legal arrangements and regulatory considerations.

Sales/Marketing: We need to build up our sales and marketing efforts (which also leverages PR assistance).

M&E: ultimately, we need to be able to have. 3rd party validation of our value proposition and impact.

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

This coming year, we need to scale manufacturing, marketing & deployment of our product. We hope to leverage the SOLVE ecosystem to find strategic partners and customers aligned with our impact goals. We also need connections to governments & donors who procure & deploy sanitation systems at large scale. We hope to gain visibility with sewage collection (“fecal sludge management” or “FSM”) service providers globally, as these servicers could be potential customers and distributors. We would also like to work with NGOs that facilitate sanitation enhancement programs or focus on public health initiatives in dense urban areas. Lastly, we would like to help and benefit from any partnerships from organizations that procure technology for disaster or humanitarian relief as part of government or UN bids. We also hope to partner with other SOLVE teams to establish synergies and collaborations to amplify all our efforts to deliver better services to vulnerable communities.

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion to advance your solution?

Our original inspiration for our work was to address the dire humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, with some many displaced populations living in perilous and undignified conditions. We were specifically moved by the plight of Syrian Refugee women and girls who feared the daily necessity of using the shared toilets in their camps. We are working with UNDP and the Turkish government to get our toilets into refugee settlements in Turkey. Our Uganda pilot serves a community that is 40% Rwandan refugees. And we are in discussions with partners to potentially deploy our toilets to the Rohingya settlements in Bangladesh.

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GM Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The GM Prize to advance your solution?

Our solution specifically targets the growing need for clean, contained and compact sanitation solutions in growing urban areas and crowded slums. Our solution is a drop-in solution to quickly address sanitation in built-out areas where it is extremely challenging to install sewerage/plumbing infrastructure. These communities are already resource-constrained, so we don’t need to be taxing their water resources with flush-toilets or sewage pollution. Our toilets have already proven that they can provide safe, clean, contained sanitation in tight spaces, and because they produce no bad odors, they can be placed close to where people live, work and go to school. So our toilets provide an unprecedented sanitation solution for smarter, cleaner, more resilient cities.

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Innovation for Women Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Innovation for Women Prize to advance your solution?

Our innovation was conceived of and invented by a women-led/mother-led team. Our core inspiration was to find a way to reduce the horrifying epidemic of rape and sexual violence facing women and girls who have no safe, private toilets in or near their homes or schools. When females have to go in public, they face daily risk of being raped. So, we invented a toilet that can be drop-in deployable anywhere at low cost (ie meaning that they can be more available and accessible anywhere). And also, because our toilets are compact and do not leak any waste or emit any smell, they can be placed closer to where women and girls are, instead of in remote, sketchy areas where females can be isolated and attacked. We also wanted to address to issue of lack of toilets in 45% of the world’s schools. Students at these schools, especially girls, struggle to get through each day of school—holding their urges by not eating or drinking the whole day and often incurring urinary tract infections. By the  time they start menstruating, 20%+ of these girls drop out of school. We want to help keep girls in school by providing safe, accessible toilets. When girls can complete their educations, they have greater potential for future opportunity and agency.

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Minderoo Prize to End Global Overfishing? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The ServiceNow Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The ServiceNow Prize to advance your solution?

Unmanaged sewage accounts for 4% of all manmade methane emissions globally due to methane offgassing from raw, wet sewage. Our solution cuts off methane production by rapidly dehydrating waste, slowing down the metabolic acitivity of fecal microbes.

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The AI for Humanity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

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Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The GSR Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

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Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The GSR Prize Prize to advance your solution?

Our clean, green, waterless sanitation solution helps to clean up communities and sustain local water resources. Hygienic sanitation helps alleviate chronic disease and poverty (the WHO calculates that every $1 invested in sanitation returns $5 in productivity and prosperity). In history, the toilet is the one invention that has saved the most lives and has allowed people to thrive and survive living in cities. Our game-changing technology innovation enables a more scalable and sustainable sanitation future.

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Solution Team

  • Diana Yousef Founder and CEO, change:WATER Labs
 
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