Washie the Cleaner Toilet Seat designed by former Bannock County Clerk Rob Poleki won $20,000 at the Boise Startup Week Pitch Competition last week.
Poleki’s invention is a toilet seat that includes a motion-activated sensor that dispenses an “eco-friendly cleanser” that can be wiped away and is designed for easy cleaning.
“It was a huge opportunity for Washie,” Poleki said. “We have come so far in the last five years, from building the toilet seat in my garage to a product winning the Pitch Competition against huge companies. The toilet seat comes in for the win.”
The competition had 32 entries, that were narrowed down to 16 semifinalists, then four finalists and Washie won in the final on Oct. 9.
The Washie project was helped by an $83,000 Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) grant from the Idaho Department of Commerce to the Poleki and researchers in the ISU mechanical engineering and chemistry departments.
The IGEM grant received in May funds researchers in the ISU mechanical engineering and chemistry departments to test the life cycle of the product and how effective the cleansing chemical is and how the chemicals react to parts of the product.
The Washie seats are being installed in several airports, and Poleki is in negotiations with several other airports and other enterprises.
You can view our previous story HERE.