These Two Companies Are Helping the World in Very Different Ways

Are you ready for the summer? We are! And we’re featuring two sustainable development technologies that will sure to make some waves this summer season.

SALTWATER BREWERY Did you know that last year, consumers drank an estimated 6.3 BILLION gallons of beer – much of which was packaged in cans and transported in plastic 6-pack rings. Those plastic rings end up in our ocean and waterways as trash and threaten wildlife. To help alleviate this environmental problem, Saltwater Brewery created a solution that can reduce plastic waste in a very significant way. With the help of We Believers marketing agency, Delray, Florida’s Saltwater Brewery created the first ever, 100% biodegradable, edible six pack rings made from the left over wheat and barley. How ingenious is that? Take a look at the video and watch how this small, craft beer company is quenching the thirsts of thousands of people and at the same time, helping seabirds, turtles and other wildlife NOT get trapped in the plastic, traditional beverage packaging industry.



Moctar Dembélé and Gérard Niyondiko were the first African winners of the Global Service Venture Competition in 2013 and their invention, Faso Soap, raised $26,500 in prize money to help combat mosquito-borne diseases. According to Faso Soap’s website, a child dies from malaria every 2 minutes and their Malaria-fighting soap can help reduce that fatality number with a cost-efficient soap solution they developed. “Soap is one product you can find in all African family homes, no matter how poor they are,” Niyondiko tells CNN. “Most people wash in the evening and you want to be protected before you go to bed at night.” The company wants to reduce death caused by malaria – a goal of 100,000 lives by the end of 2018 by putting a mosquito-repellent soap in the hands of the most vulnerable populations in Africa. The students launched and completed a crowdfunding campaign on Ulule to continue to develop and test their product with hopes to eventually combat the zika virus.

These “innovations at work” have the potential to address some of the most challenging problems we face today. Connect with us regularly and don’t forget to follow us on twitter, facebook, and email. If you have an innovation or idea that may help address a global problem, please contact us!

Cycle Technologies is a socially minded, consumer and technology company that creates brilliantly simple global health solutions to help address complex needs. To learn more about us, visit

March Top Picks for Sustainable Development Technologies

Cycle Technologies - Brilliantly Simple Global Health Solutions - TBSB Features Top Picks for Sustainable Development Technologies

Happy Spring! Here are our March favorite picks for sustainable development technologies.

1. Dot Period & Fertility Tracker



We can’t help but feature Cycle Technologies‘ – Dot Period & Fertility Tracker (#DotTheApp) this month! Dot was recently chosen to be featured at the Women Deliver Conference along with nine other amazing apps that are “changing the face of global health for women and girls”. The conference, which takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark May 16-19, will give participants a chance to interact with these cool technologies during it’s APPY Hour reception. We’re so honored to be on the impressive list of innovative companies and organizations making an impact on global health around the world, including Jhpiego, BVKit, MobileODT, Fundación Capital, Love Matters India, Maternity Foundation, IntraHealth InternationalWorld Vision USA Girls and Football SA. Let us know if you will be at Women Deliver conference this year. We’d love to connect!

2. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Photo credit: Sharmeed Obaid Films

March is a celebration of Women’s History, and we believe that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will go down in the history books as a woman who is a catalyst for change. Obaid-Chinoy made history on March 7th when her film, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness won an Oscar. In fact, she is the only Pakistani who has won TWO Oscars. “This is what happens when determined women get together,” she said during her Oscar acceptance speech. “That is the power of film.”  With more than 1000 women killed in the name of “honor” in Pakistan every year, this documentary follows the story of a rare survivor who falls in love and lives to tell the tale. To learn more about this masterful, social impact change-maker, visit Sharmeen Obaid Films.

3. AgriLux

Cycle Technologies Brilliantly Simple Blog Features AgriLux Spectrum LED Lightbulb

Photo credit: AG Innovation

Ontario-based AgriLux developed a new lighting system led by poultry-science expert, Dr. Gregoy Bedecarrats from the University of Guelph. The research shows that providing a new type of lighting for chickens results in an increase in egg production. The data show that making the chicken more comfortable, calmer and happier led to a better outcome – thus more egg-laying capacity.

Dr. Bedeccarat’s research and commercial partnership with Thies Electrical Distributing in Cambridge, Ontario, helped bring AgriLux lightbulb to the poultry science field. Take a look at the innovation behind this lightbulb and delve into the research on Agri-Technology Commercialization Center website for further information.

Hmmm…this is making us rethink the lighting at our office.

These “innovations at work” have the potential to address some of the most challenging problems we face today. Connect with us regularly and don’t forget to follow us on twitter, facebook, and email. If you have an innovation or idea that may help address a global problem, please contact us!

Cycle Technologies is a socially minded, consumer and technology company that creates brilliantly simple global health solutions to help address complex needs. To learn more about us, visit

Do Cool Sh*t – Words of Wisdom From A Serial Entrepreneur

We were SO happy to see this post by our favorite mompreneur Anjali Varma, spotlighting Miki Agrawal! After all, Miki is one of the inventors of THINX, THE “Smartest Underwear. Period.” And, if anyone can make periods sexy, it’s Miki Agrawal. Not only does her social impact company help women in the developing world, Thinx also gives women all over the world a feeling of being #periodproud.

Anjali Varma got a chance to meet this “Top 20 Millienials On a Mission” who shared a few of her brilliantly simply insights on entrepreneurship. Thanks, Anjali!! See below.

Originally posted by
Anjali Varma, The Modern Mompreneur

I had the opportunity to hear entrepreneur extraordinaire Miki Agrawal speak last week.  Miki is in her mid thirties and has already launched four successful business ventures.  Her first was 10 years ago when she opened one of the first farm to table pizza places, Wild, in NYC.  She now has multiple locations throughout the city and partnered with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh to open a location in Las Vegas.  She then moved on to found Super Sprowtz, a children’s media company to get kids to eat more vegetables. And then founded THINX, a high-tech, beautiful underwear solution for women during their “time of the month”.  And finally wrote the book “Do Cool Sh*T” which provides tangible takeaways on how to launch a business and received testimonials from a couple of my personal heroes Marie Forleo and Seth Godin. Miki and Anjali

Throughout her talk, Miki provided several great tidbits of wisdom for entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business:

1. You can’t do it all.  Focus on the things you do best and outsource the rest.  After several years of doing it on her own, Miki hired an operations manager to manage the day to day operations which were not her forte. Her restaurants’ profits have since tripled.

2. When you have a mission driven company, people will do things for free because they believe in your mission.  Miki’s Super Sprowtz ad campaign featured 17 celebrities including the First Lady and Shaquille O’Neil.  These celebrities signed on for her cause without payment because they felt strongly about promoting healthy eating among kids.

3. You are as good as your five closest friends. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and who push you to be your best.

4. Solve a real problem.  Be 1 out of 1.  Answer these questions when trying to find that next big idea:

  • What sucks in my world?
  • Does it suck for a lot of people?
  • Can I be passionate about this issue for a long time?

These are the questions that helped Miki to launch all of her ventures but were particularly instrumental when she launched her THINX line. She found a problem facing the majority of women and realized there were no compelling solutions in the marketplace.  She created a product to fix this problem.

Miki's Products

5. All businesses can and should have a social element. When you tie in a social cause you are accomplishing the obvious of helping others. Having a social element also helps you to “get free stuff”, retain talent, and people gravitate towards your business because you are purpose driven.

I’m looking forward to diving into Miki’s book to uncover more tangible takeaways from this successful entrepreneur. Would love to hear from you if you have read the book or have any thoughts on the above! Comment below or tweet me @anjvarma!

For more inspirational words of wisdom from successful female entrepreneurs, click here to check out the “Get Inspired” area of my site which includes quotes and interviews with powerhouses such as Tory Burch, Arianna Huffington, and Diane von Furstenberg.



Rear view of businesswoman looking at chalkboard


With the holidays behind us and a brand new 2015 year ahead, we just want to take a moment to say thank you to all those who have worked with us this past year. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with thought leaders and social innovators who are committed to making a positive global impact and helping improve people’s lives.

Looking ahead we know it will take incredible effort to meet the challenges we face in women’s reproductive health.

Our prediction for 2015 is that it will be the year we all get smart. We’ll figure out that it’s not just how to capture large quantities of data, but how to use this information to improve lives. We’ll find ways to help people by being more efficient and smarter in our approaches.  We’ll better address complex problems, by identifying the core issues and addressing them with smart solutions.

In fact, we predict that getting smart will be the NEW THING.  It’ll be a revolution of sorts!

As the team and I plan for the next big idea, we continue to be excited about the innovations on the horizon for women’s health, and the ever evolving opportunities in this space.

I’d like to toast to making 2015 a very smart year for all of us!

Cheers & Warm Wishes,

LHeyer Signature Med Image Size

Leslie Heyer, Founder & President of Cycle Technologies

Leslie Heyer is Founder & President of Cycle Technologies, a social impact company that finds, develops, and creates brilliantly simple tools. To learn more, visit

Tampon Technology Is Making Huge Strides in HIV Prevention for Women

"Tampon Technology"  The Brilliantly Simple Blog by Cycle Technologies

It’s not every day that you hear  the words “tampon” and “technology” in the same sentence, but here it goes… This “tampon technology” could change the world by preventing HIV!

A team of scientists at the University of Washington have created a tampon that can be inserted immediately before sex, quickly dissolves within minutes of insertion, and administers a dose of an anti-HIV microbicide that can prevent contracting HIV. The drug is electrically spun into the tampon fabric and delivers the HIV preventive agent directly into the walls of the vagina upon insertion.

Globally, this addresses a need for simple preventative measures that work in high-risk contexts. This drug delivery option is easy to use since its similar to a standard tampon – something with which most women are already familiar. It’s more accurate, and therefore more effective, than topical drugs and it works faster than pills.

Cameron Ball, a doctoral student in bioengineering at the University of Washington, and Kim Woodrow, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at UW, are the lead inventors of the HIV-fighting tampon.

What makes this method of drug delivery unique is that “women don’t have to apply it far in advance of having sex,” said Cameron Ball in an NPR interview. “There’s a race between the anti-HIV microbicide to get to the tissue before the virus does. So the more quickly it dissolves, the better.”

The technology may take up to 10 years for wide-scale use and approval. However, the possibilities of stopping the deadly virus through a simple and effective solution is inspiring. We almost guarantee that you may never look at a tampon quite the same again.