When you gotta go, you gotta go. For tourists and locals in Tel Aviv, a new early-stage initiative makes knowing where to go when nature calls just a click of a button away. It’s called P-pass and it makes finding where to pee when out and about so much easier.
Seinfeld’s George Costanza famously knew all the “magnificent facilities” in New York City. The P-pass bathroom-finding service helps its users find ‘magnificent’ businesses and eateries at which to relieve any full bladder worries.
“Innovation is about solving real problems and we found not knowing where to pee to be a major issue,” Tal Elharar, 31, one of the student-entrepreneurs behind the P-pass service, tells NoCamels. “Everyone has to go. When you’re a tourist, you don’t always want to go into a restaurant or business and ask to use the bathroom. Or, you feel you need to buy something that you don’t really want just so that you can go to the bathroom.”
Elharar, Ariel Rozenberg, Tal Leibushor-Dahan and Shlomit Joy-Goren are the four MA students of Design, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the College of Management Academic Studies in Rishon Lezion, set on toilet training Tel Aviv.
The P-pass mission is to “provide quick and easy toilet access to users and potential profit to retailers, transforming it from a usually awkward activity to social responsibility.”
They hit on the pee patrol idea as tourists in Europe. Elharar says finding a place to visit the ladies room in a foreign city became a time-consuming mission when there was no reason it needed to be.
In January, the P-pass entrepreneurs ran a first pilot of the service in the Carmel Market and Jaffa Flea Market areas of Tel Aviv.
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Tourists paid $1 for the four-day trial that afforded them a “reward card to pee wherever they wanted” at any of the participating 30 businesses that collaborated with P-pass, Elharar tells NoCamels. “We proved that there is a real need to know where to go when you gotta go and that people are even willing to pay for that convenience.”
The four loo gurus are getting ready to launch a second pilot in March.
A third pilot – which will by then expectantly include an app – will run during the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in May, when the line to the loo could potentially stretch around the city. After all, some 20,000 visitors are expected to crowd Tel Aviv for this year’s international song competition.
Elharar says Tel Aviv is just a beta site for the P-pass entrepreneurs. She says the team is going to make the world a better place in answering the call everyone needs answered.
“We’re graduating soon and we’re meeting with investors. Tel Aviv is just the beginning, we’re planning on expanding our service and App to all major European cities starting with London, Amsterdam, and Budapest,” she says.
If all goes as planned, the app will eventually offer premium services that will tell people where the cleanest toilets are and where to find three-ply softness.
Viva Sarah Press is a journalist and speaker. She writes and talks about the creativity and innovation taking place in Israel and beyond. www.vivaspress.com