Hardware Accelerator Team Spotlight: Flowin

Nicole Martino-- Flowin

#HardwareAccelerator19 team Flowin, is designing a collapsible pod that can be used to help those on the go clean their menstrual cups. Nicole Marino, the founder of Flowin, is creating a compact and sustainable product.

What problem do you solve for the market?

Flowin is working to make menstrual sovereignty more accessible. Many people struggle using and cleaning their menstrual cup while traveling or in public.

Who is your customer?

Our early adopters include trans menstruators who use a menstrual cup, as well as menstrual cup users who take extended hiking or boating trips and have limited access to clean water. Our customer is also menstrual cup users who travel on abudget, so they frequently use gas station bathrooms, port-a-johns, and crowded venue restrooms. We have also identified menstrual cup users who are vegan, and looking to reduce their environmental footprint, but are less likely to compromise their time for sustainable solutions (not zero-wasters/minimalists). We have also identified that people who do not use a menstrual cup but have friends or partners who use a cup and are open about their experiences with it may be a potential customer.

What is your innovation or solution?

We are designing a collapsible pod that can be filled with water and can manually rinse the menstrual cup in the privacy of a bathroom stall, and reduces the amount of water that is used in the process.

How did you come up with this idea?

From talking with potential customers, we found that people wanted something that was small and compact. They wanted a product that was produced in a sustainable way with an appropriate life cycle for its use.

What has been the biggest surprise? What has been the most eye-opening experience so far?

I have been shocked by the wave of support for what initially seemed to be such a controversial topic. While doing customer discovery at a music festival, I had people running to catch up with me to talk about their experiences using a menstrual cup. I had non-menstruators thanking me for the work I’ve been doing to normalize menstruation conversations and make it more accessible for people to manage their period cycles. While this project has also encountered a lot of people *very* uncomfortable with what I’m working on, the positive feedback I’ve received has reassured me that this is a real problem and Flowin has the potential to make a big change.