2014  Finalist

earthenable

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USA & Africa

earthenable’s mission is to provide healthy and affordable floors to the 80% of Rwandans who can only afford to have a dirt floor in their home. Concrete has been shown to reduce diarrhea by 49% and parasitic infections by 78% (Gertler et al., 2009), but a concrete floor costs $300-500 for a small Rwandan home. Meanwhile, earthenable’s earthen floors cost only $30 dollars for the same area. They are composed of natural materials (gravel, clay, sand, and fiber) and are sealed with a layer of drying oil that makes the floor impermeable, easy to clean, and polished. earthenable’s innovation is a new technique that converts locally available oils (sunflower, soya) into a drying oil that performs as well as the industry standard (linseed oil) at 15% of the cost. We are a team from Stanford University’s Biochemistry Department, Business School, and Medical School.