Taproot Members Dimitris Morakis (Industrial Designer) and Voula Germanakou Kopsini (Filmmaker) together with Eirini Gkeli (Industrial Designer) teamed up during the the Hackathon on refugees and Integration Challenges #HackTheCamp, that took place in Impact Hub Athens on December 2016, winning the 3rd prize with our mobile water supply unit (WALY). Our goal was to create a product that promotes hygiene to people who don’t have immediate access to water, offering autonomy, while helps in preventing Gender Based Violence.
Our Award included a financial support from the US Embassy of Athens and a four month advisory program with Danielle Ruan provided by Impact Hub Athens to be used for further development of our project. Shortly after, Alan Thomson, one of the facilitators of Hack The Camp from International Alert offered us his award from a hackathon he had won on prevention of gender based violence, sponsored by the Embassy of the Netherlands in London while in agreement with The Dutch Embassy of Athens.
We faced many challenges. We had no previous experience on actually producing and distributing a product and almost everything was new to us. Also it turned up that not having a legal form proved a negative factor on establishing contacts with other companies or organizations. When you are unknown, it needs twice the effort to contact with people. Fortunately with the help of Danielle we managed to overcome many challenges and maintain focused on our project.
After all these months of hard work and constant development of the project we came to the biggest challenge of creating a first cycle of WALYs prototypes. Despite reaching out entities and organizations, locally and globally, we faced the problem that every small startup has. To get in the market.
However we ceaselessly continue our efforts for further improvements and collaborations. We are open to new ideas, suggestions and collaborations, so feel free to contact us. We would be very glad hearing from you!
Taproot formed out of WALY and we loved it! So we will continue working on projects based on the principles of universal design and always design to make the world a little better place.