We had a very interesting time in Washington DC in June. After several long flights from New Zealand and India, the team convened in our hotel room and spent many late nights polishing our pitch. I’m not sure what they are used to in Washington DC, but the hotel staff didn’t bat an eyelid when we reassembled the prototype in our room and then wheeled it out of the lift and through the lobby and down the street past the J Edgar Hoover building, (FBI HQ).
In the end the AguaPallet didn’t carry the day. There were some exceedingly good ideas being pitched, and we felt we were in very good company indeed. Coming down with near total laryngitis 24 hours before the final pitch wasn’t helpful! While the AguaPallet didn’t get the nod from the judges, our solution for the wheel system certainly got the attention of Catapult Design who wanted to use the same wheels on their Solar Kiosk destined for use in Africa. We happily sold them the components, it meant less for us to carry back with us, and it was also nice to see how forums such as these promoted networking and the spreading of good ideas.
One of the best things to come out of the trip happened on the networking evening. After all the hard work leading up to ISHOW 2016 it can be a bit depressing when you’re not successful (I know I was not the only one feeling that way). Suddenly out of left field a group of summer interns working in DC approached us. They had made a specific point of coming to the evening to meet us because the AguaPallet Project had been used by their lecturer as a case study. This completely made my day! This was the ripple effect in action. We may not have come away with the prize money, but we did leave Washington DC sure in the knowledge that our project has already had a multiplier effect as an influencer on the next generation of social entrepreneurs.