Graduates from the University of Bristol have won investment for their solution to tackle queuing problems at women’s toilets.
Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane have designed what they are calling “the UK’s first touch-free women’s urinal”, the Bristol Post reported.
The duo say their design makes the process of going to the toilet six times quicker compared to a conventional portable lockable toilet and is ideal for outdoor events such as festivals.
After winning the top prize in their university’s flagship enterprise contest for start-ups, the pair secured £15,000 to progress their product PEEQUAL.
Co-founder Hazel said: “Winning the competition has given us the funding and recognition to follow our dream for pee-equality.
“We are now so excited to get our PEEQUAL urinals out there to free the pee.”
The students graduated last year with degrees in anthropology with innovation, and physics with innovation, respectively.
Their product is made from 100 per cent recyclable materials and is said to produce 98 per cent less CO2 than portable toilets.
It is flat pack so easier to transport, and can be arranged in three different shapes to suit various spaces.
The open-air urinal is designed to make it easier for women to stand or squat when nature calls, with cleverly-placed screens for privacy.
Their website explains: “Working at festivals, we had to choose between going to the loo or getting food, as the queues for the women’s toilets were just too long.
“This was common at every event we went to. From sports events to theatres to park toilets, women have to expect to wait in line.
“So, driven by curiosity and a restlessness for a product that solves our own problem, we set out to fight the women’s toilet queue.”
They have just won the New Enterprise Competition, which is run by the Basecamp Enterprise team at the university.
Amber said: “We feel massively encouraged and honoured to receive the award for the New Enterprise Competition, it means we can get our PEEQUAL urinals out to events as soon as possible.”
She said the support from Basecamp had come at a “pivotal point”.
Of the 21 businesses competing in the competition this year, two other student-led start-ups were named runners-up.
Bottle Farm won £5,000 for their kit that turns any plastic bottle into an ‘indoor farm’ to grow small plants such as herbs.
Senmag Robotics, which has developed an interactive 3D virtual environment, won a 12-month membership to a tech incubator and pro-bono legal support from sponsors.
Votes are now being taken from the public for the ‘people’s choice’ category of the competition.
Eight finalists are in with a chance of winning £2,000 and voting via the university website closes on Monday (May 31).
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