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Latin American women entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia launch worldwide campaign on Indiegogo
While studying their PhD in Environmental Sciences and Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia (KAUST), Luisa Javier and Sandra Medina, engineers from Mexico and Colombia, co-founded a biotechnology company Wayak and are launching their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, for their instant laundry spray.
The combination of knowledge, talent, perseverance, and support from the university led Luisa and Sandra to develop Wayakit, an instant laundry spray, which the pair say is essential for travelers. The spray is based on biotechnology that removes stains and smells utilising non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning compounds.
Now, Sandra and Luisa are preparing to launch their crowdfunding campaign through the Indiegogo platform on June 7th. Via this platform, people from around the world will be able to pre-order their very own Wayakit.
"Wayakit is a reality and people will now be able to have it for themselves," says Sandra (right of picture). "As Latin American women, we feel so proud to represent our countries in this innovative project in a country like Saudi Arabia, where we are being part of the social and economic transformation the country is living.
"We have had to face language and gender barriers, but at the same time, with tolerance and the support of an institution such as KAUST, we have had the opportunity to take giant steps towards the development of this new business."
KAUST, through its Innovation and Economic Development department, provides a strong entrepreneurship culture by creating new companies based on IP developed by the University and its students. Luisa and Sandra met on a course last Summer: 'New Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation'. They soon became friends and colleagues, and started working towards finding a solution to a common problem that they both faced:
Luisa (left of picture) explains further: "We have been able to frequently travel to other countries from the region, and during these trips, we realised that laundry while travelling is still a challenge! Dirty clothes are a liability that we have to lug around, and we thought, would it not be great if we could only travel with our passport, money and the outfit we are wearing?"
The pair carried out more than 100 interviews with housewives, mothers, tourism and business travelers from 23 different nationalities, asking how they do laundry at home and while travelling. From that moment, they identified the characteristics of the product they had to design and returned right away to the lab for its development.
"In KAUST we have learned what is needed to develop science with purpose: we spent months reading, testing, measuring, failing, thinking, trying and failing better until we got the result we were looking for," they explain. They also say they are aiming to raise $10,000.00 USD to cover the moulds and production costs for the sprays, validate the project and through this means, be able to bring Wayakit to market. The campaign on Indiegogo will be open for a month ending on 7th July, 2018.
For more information about the product:
For the Indiegogo campaign
31st May 2018