SoaPen is a soap that makes hand washing fun for kids so that even when they’re being clean and germ-free and avoiding sickness they’re having fun. It’s a soap that you can draw with on your hands and then under water they intuitively thoroughly wash their hands. Amanat and I met at Parsons School of Design where we studied industrial design. Industrial designers are problem solvers. Hand washing with soap can protect one out of three children from infectious illnesses and respiratory infections and in places like India and Africa this can be life saving. For every three SoaPens that are sold because even small illnesses like diarrhea, when there is inadequate health care hand washing can prevent over 50% of these illnesses. For every three SoaPens that are sold we donate one to a low-income school where access to hygiene may be a problem and that’s where we’re able to make a positive impact. We grew up in India and we knew that hygeine was a big problem And then we went to school, came back with a different lens. When we were in India we spoke directly to teachers about the challenges that they were facing and we realized that even if soap is donated to them it’s a precious commodity and they have to store it away in cupboards. That’s when we really saw this as more like a design challenge that could be solved. We changed the placement of soap from the bathroom to the classroom so that they could draw on their hands, and then they would go to the bathroom and wash their hands. Just a win-win for the teacher and the students because the teacher could monitor if the kids washed their hands or not, and the kids were having fun while washing their hands. We make whatever she has a little bit smaller. With our design backgrounds we knew we needed to have a great product. It’s soap. It needs to be simple. It needs to be fun. It needs to smell good. And kids are going to want to use it more because eventually this is about habit change. We’ve learned so much trying to enter the soap market. Understanding the industry and finding the right partners was probably the biggest challenge. I’m not even concerned about the conversion rate or anything right now. we’ve been really fortunate to have a number of mentors from different fields. That has been invaluable for us. We’re so honored to have received the Toyota Mothers of Invention award. Can’t wait to be among these incredible women who are changing the world. To be a part of that community, it just means a lot.