What is PEEQUAL’s origin story?
We started PEEQUAL because we were sick and tired of waiting in female toilet queues at events. When there was an opportunity to explore a real world problem in our Masters year, we knew that this was a problem worth tackling. To solve this problem, we created PEEQUAL, the UK’s first standalone, touch-free women’s urinal that halves the queues for the women’s toilets.
To use PEEQUAL, the user steps up into the structure and squats over what we call the pedestal. This is a comfortable and hygienic bowl shape, created to prevent splash back. It is much like ‘wild peeing’ outside, but is ultra-quick, safe and clean.
We hope to provide facilities for women at events across the UK before going international, because we value women’s time and believe that women should have that time back.
Who are the founders of PEEQUAL?
We are Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane, two University of Bristol graduates who started PEEQUAL in our Masters year wanting to ‘solve a real world problem’. We have known each other for five years and have worked on projects together before PEEQUAL was started.
What has been the greatest obstacle to PEEQUAL’s development so far?
We both worked two jobs in the beginning of PEEQUAL to be able to pay rent. With our day jobs taking the majority of our time, headspace and energy, we had to push ourselves to work mornings, late evenings and weekends to keep progressing with PEEQUAL.
We then won a grant from our university that allowed us to take PEEQUAL full-time by taking a small salary. This was a big turning point for us as we were able to dedicate everything to the business and raise more funds for the manufacture of the urinals.
You recently had a successful first round of investment. How do you plan to use this funding?
We will use the majority of funding on manufacturing the product, making the tooling, materials and labour. Hardware takes longer and can be more unpredictable than software, so spending time on getting the mouldings right is a priority. We are also looking to employ two staff to join us on PEEQUAL’s mission; a festival coordinator and a marketing coordinator. With these two roles, we will be able to reach more events this year becoming fully commercial.