Sanitary pad innovation answers the Challenge

The SheCycle project – the University of Waterloo student-led initiative to introduce a unique antimicrobial reusable sanitary pad that can be locally sourced and distributed in Uganda – won the 2019 World’s Challenge Challenge, held last week at Western.

Team Waterloo delivered their award-winning idea for a solution to a global challenge in the Global Final in front of a panel of academic and community leaders from Western and the London community.

Gold medalists Anna Kuepfer, Abigail Loewen and Leah Wouda, who share the top prize of $30,000, believe SheCycle will improve health, increase access to education and make work a safer place for women in Uganda.

The silver medalists winners were Arianna Bacic, Henry Frear and Ishie Sharma from the University of Auckland (New Zealand). Winning $15,000, they developed an eco-friendly loyalty program called Loyal Trees that allows environmentally conscious consumers to make sustainable choices, resulting in the planting of trees to offset carbon emissions.

Olivia Burgner, Abdulrahman Hassaballah and Anish Kirtane from the University at Buffalo were the bronze medalists and collected $7,500 with their project Numu, which introduces a new protein burger product made of mealworms that will reduce greenhouse gases caused by the cattle and meat-production industry.

All told, 20 student teams from nine countries gathered together in London this week for the international pitch competition and a chance at seed money to bring their world-changing ideas to life.

Each team advanced to the Global Final at Western after having won competitions at their home universities.