How This Immigrant Founder and 'Shark Tank' Star is Changing How Kids Wash Their Hands

Asia's Tech News Daily

My kids hate to wash their hands. They’ll turn on the water and pretend to wet their hands, they’ll forget to use soap. On other occasions, they’ll leave a mess of water and suds behind for their dad and I to clean up. They will whine and complain about having to wash their hands, in fear of missing out on what their sibling might be doing. 

SoaPen Inc., the Center for Disease Control, says pediatrician Kelly Fradin, percentage of profits , put the customer first., Mothers of Invention, Shark Tank, startup visa


“There are two types of kids, the ones who love washing their hands, and the ones who hate washing their hands,” says Shubham Issar, co-founder of SoaPen Inc. “With SoapPen, we are on a mission to get all kids to love washing their hands and to understand the importance of hygiene.” 

I have been screaming “Please wash your hands!” at my kids for as long as I can remember. And now with the delta variant of Covid-19 surging, washing our hands consistently and thoroughly is even more critical. Even before the pandemic began, the Center for Disease Control recommended washing our hands as a key way to help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.

And despite what parents might explicitly say, kids can have trouble following instructions, even when we tell them exactly how to wash their hands. “By age 4, many children seem to master the sequence of events involved in hand washing: Turn the water on, soap the hands, scrub, rinse and dry. But it’s rare that they have the self-discipline to do so reliably and completely,” says pediatrician Kelly Fradin.

Enter SoaPen. It’s a soap-filled pen that makes washing hands super easy. I had my kids draw all over their hands using bright colors like red, blue and green. They slightly wet their drawing under warm water, rubbed their hands to create a lather and rinsed off the suds and the drawing, leaving behind clean hands. 

Now SoaPen is another item in my parenting tool kit. It’s easy for me to slip into their school backpacks or into our weekend snack bag as we go on our city adventures. The formula is also non-irritating, nontoxic and free of SLS, parabens, ETDA, phthalates and any animal by-product. And for every SoaPen purchased, the company donates soap or a percentage of profits to partner organizations that support children’s hygiene and health. They are building hand washing awareness campaigns in the U.S. and India using SoaPen as a teaching tool.

“More than 50% of infectious diseases that lead to fatalities among kids under 5 can be avoided by the simple act of washing hands with soap,” Issar says. “My co-founder Amanat [Anand] and I are determined to be part of the solution, to make sure every child has access to great hygiene.”

Here are the three lessons Issar has learned from building her company. 

1. Hold on to what you’re passionate about

Issar has been obsessed with design from a young age. She doodled on anything she could find, including her family’s furniture. Her love of art and design led her to leave India at the age of 17 to study at Parsons School of Design in New York City. There, Issar met her co-founder.

“For us, Parsons was an incredible training ground,” Issar says. “We learned how to structure a problem, brainstorm solutions, and then ultimately work towards solving the problem.”

After graduation, Issar and Anand went their separate ways. Issar went on to work as a fabricator and designer, and Anand worked in a furniture studio. Both of them had great jobs, but they felt unfulfilled. “We missed working together, side by side, problem-solving together. We were passionate about this idea of ‘designing for good,’ something our day jobs didn’t provide us,” Issar shares. “We just couldn’t shake that feeling that we were meant to be doing something else.”

On a whim, the two decided to apply for the UNICEF Wearables for Good Challenge to pursue their passion of designing for social impact. The competition highlighted issues mothers and infants all over the world were facing and called for designers to submit solutions to solve them. “We were really moved by the fact that high rates of infant mortality can be avoided by the simple act of washing hands with soap,” Issar says.  “We entered the concept of SoaPen. We won the challenges and used the prize money to start R&D to make SoaPen a reality.”

2. Always put the customer first 

One of the early iterations for the SoaPen concept was a tube. Issar and Anand were inspired by products such as deodorants that were dispensed this way, so they purchased a large quantity of tubes to test out this concept.

“Being an immigrant, I didn’t have many family or friends here at the time, and I certainly didn’t have access to many kids in my life,” Issar says. So they created a core network of parents to get feedback on the tube idea. Issar vividly remembers bringing the tubes filled with their formula to a group of parents and kids to test the product.

“I watched in horror as the kids squeezed out the whole product at once,” Issar shares. “We bought the tubes without putting our customer first — not thinking how kids would react to using a tube. They wanted to squeeze all of the product out, and they couldn’t control how much to dispense.”

It was a hard lesson for Issar to swallow and an important reminder to always put the customer first. “It doesn’t matter what you think may or may not work,” Issar explains. “Always check in with your customer, and in our case, we need to put kids first.”

3. Build your own network

As an immigrant founder, Issar’s journey hasn’t been easy. “Early on, I didn’t have any family or friends here, and I didn’t know how to even meet or get introductions to investors,” she says. “I had no network.”

Issar didn’t let that stop her; she was determined to build her own network. She applied to design competitions and accelerators, and SoaPen had incredible success on Kickstarter. “Accelerators are a critical way to get access to investors and get feedback on your product,” Issar says. “It has been invaluable for me in building my own network.”  At an early stage accelerator in Idaho, Issar met a judge who became one of her first investors. He is still very involved in SoaPen and has helped with access to networks in manufacturing and supply chain.

Since the time they launched the SoaPen prototype, Issar and Anand have been listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 and named Toyota’s 2019 Mothers of Invention list. Most recently, the founders landed a deal on Shark Tank. But as two founders on visas, they still struggle with not being able to get certifications as being a women- or minority-owned business. There is no startup visa available, so immigrant founders like Issar are navigating the visa system while trying to build their businesses. “We are on a mission to challenge the bias immigrant founders on visas face. We hope to pave the way for the next generation of founders who follow us.” 

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


What Apple, Amazon and Kim Kardashian Can Teach You About Innovating Every Day

In the not-too-distant past, innovation was viewed as a glamorous activity primarily left either to disruptive startups and entrepreneurs or to specific departments which were cordoned off from the others within ... Read more »

The difference between convincing and inspiring Language is a powerful tool in the construction of human relationships of all kinds, which differentiates us from other species; However, it is our capacity for interpretation that injects ... Read more »

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Expected to Step Down, Sources Say

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is expected to leave his executive role, sources tell CNBC.  Dorsey is currently the CEO of both Twitter and Square, his digital-payments company.  Twitter stakeholder Elliott ... Read more »

Elon Musk Urges Tesla Employees to Stop Rushing Deliveries

Though customers may be well into their holiday season spending habits, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has asked employees to pump the brakes on rushing Q4 orders in order to hit ... Read more »

Why the 10-80-10 Rule Is Key To Achieving Success

The 10-80-10 rule is an extension of the Pareto principle that says 80% of productivity/wealth is generated/owned by 20% of the population.[1] This ratio is often observable in various statistics ... Read more »

The 50 Richest People in Crypto

Rather than the Musks, Zuckerbergs and Gates Ellisons of the world,  The Crypto Rich List compiled by, comprises a wide array of players within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Developers, investors, and founders of trading ... Read more »

5 Strategies to Beat Imposter Syndrome: How I Built My Confidence With Practical Tactics

I remember it like it was yesterday. The crowds were gathered. The spotlight was lit. And my knees kept time with my nerves. I was going to tell a room ... Read more »

Is Recent IPO Vita Coco a Good Stock to Buy?

Premium lifestyle beverage manufacturer The Vita Coco Company (COCO), which is known for its coconut water products, made its stock market debut on October 21, 2021. But even though the ... Read more »

Know Why Natural Gas Prices Ended 7.5% Higher Past Week

The U.S. Energy Department’s weekly inventory release showed a lower-than-expected decrease in natural gas supplies — the season’s first withdrawal. Despite the negative inventory numbers and a set of bearish ... Read more »

Chegg Stock is Ready for Bargain Hunters

Online education platform provider Chegg (NYSE: CHGG) stock has been devastated plunging (-80%) off its 2021 highs of $115.21. The popular leading provider of digital education and training was a ... Read more »

Should You Buy the Dip in Clover Health?

Medicare Advantage insurer Clover Health’s (CLOV) shares have declined in price substantially over the past few months after hitting their record high in June, driven by the meme-stock craze. The ... Read more »

Mortgage Outlook: Rates Heading North in Late December

December mortgage rates forecast I expect mortgage rates to rise modestly in December, especially toward the end of the month. NerdWallet – NerdWallet As we approach the end of 2021, ... Read more »

3 MassMutual Funds for Spectacular Returns

Founded in 1851, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company or MassMutual uses a multi-manager approach to offer services like life policies, money management and retirement planning across the globe. The company ... Read more »

Top 7 Ways to Protect Your 401(k) from a Stock Market Crash

If you have a 401(k), any other retirement plan, or anything that ties into the stock market in general, then this article is for you. I’m going to tell you ... Read more »

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Beazer Homes, TRI Pointe Group, Meritage Homes and Toll Brothers

For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – November 29, 2021 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the ... Read more »

TC Energy (TRP) Files $15B Suit Against U.S. Over Keystone XL

TC Energy Corporation TRP — sponsor of the canceled Keystone XL pipeline — has sought a compensation of $15 billion under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) provision from ... Read more »

3 Top Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy According to Wall Street

The increasing acceptance worldwide of the need to transition to renewable energy to address climate change concerns, President Biden’s support of green infrastructure development, and the declining cost of energy ... Read more »

3 Oil & Gas Stocks Under $10 That Can Gain More Than 35% According to Analyst Estimates

The oil & gas industry has benefited significantly from skyrocketing crude oil and natural gas prices in recent months. And limited supply and increasing demand for energy with the reopening ... Read more »

Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: BYD Company and Stellantis

For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – November 29, 2021 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses Foreign Auto, including BYD Company Limited BYDDY and Stellantis N.V. STLA. – Zacks Link: ... Read more »

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: BOK Financial, Southern First Bancshares, Central Pacific Financial, CrossFirst Bankshares and Popular

For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – November 29, 2021 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the ... Read more »

Redbox Stock is Ready to Be Rented

Movie rental and streaming service Redbox (NASDAQ: RDBX) stock is making higher lows after completing its business combination. The Company merged with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Seaport Global Acquisition ... Read more »

5 Steps to Building a Supportive and Inclusive Workplace for Neurodiverse Employees

National data shows that neurodiverse people — people with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety disorder and other neurologic conditions — are grossly unemployed or underemployed, with estimates ranging as high as 90%, particularly ... Read more »

5 Unicorn Founders Share Key Learnings From Their Early Mistakes

In his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that India is leading the world in the startup field with more than 70 startups ... Read more »

ABL Raises INR 15 Crore In Series A Round

ABL Workspaces has raised INR 15 crore from Canada-based Ethik Inc in its Series A round. The fund will be used to expand its seating capacities from 2,470 to 15,000 ... Read more »

Begin with Gratitude and Watch the Miracles Flow Your Way

Is thankfulness a survival skill? Maybe most of you would respond with, “No, thankfulness is not key to survival,” and I would tend to agree with you. Most of us ... Read more »

The BossBabe Community of More Than 4 Million Is Strengthened by the Bond Its Founders Share

Danielle Canty and Natalie Ellis hit it off instantly. The women met in September 2017 at a personal development seminar in San Diego, connecting not only for their shared United ... Read more »

Savart Raises INR 4 Crore

Savart, an investment advisory and technology brand, has raised about INR 4.09 crore  from BEENEXT, Yatra Angel Network and Jitendra Gupta founder of  Jupiter neobank.  Pexels BEENEXT has infused INR ... Read more »

21K School Raises Pre Series A Funding

21K School, the first online-only school in India, has recently raised pre-Series A funding of $5 million from Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder and chairman, upGrad.   Pexels The company aims to use ... Read more »

The Holiday Blues Are Normal—These 8 Tips from Experts Can Help You Better Manage Difficult Emotions

The holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, can be a time of great joy with family, friends and tradition, but not everyone feels jolly this time of year. If ... Read more »

11 Ways to Attract Abundance in Your Life

1. Begin with gratitude. Always start with thanksgiving; be thankful for what you already have and see the miracles that come from this one simple act. Next, you’ve got to ... Read more »

Aura Meditation App Review: Thousands of Guided Meditations at Your Fingertips

With more than 5 million users, Aura has become one of the best meditation apps available. The award-winning Aura app features the largest subscription library of mindfulness meditations, sleep stories, ... Read more »

Coinstore Enters India Amid Pending Crypto Ban

 At a time when the Indian government is preparing legislation to effectively bar private cryptocurrencies, Singapore-based Coinstore, a crypto future and spot trading exchange, announced its foray into the Indian ... Read more »

This Blockchain-based Platform Aims To Change the Way You Stream

We all know how everything changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Different industries and sectors tried their best and showed efforts to adapt to the aftermath of the pandemic and ... Read more »

Jade Forest Raises $1 Million

Jade Forest, a non-alcoholic beverage brand, has raised $1 million in a funding round led by Mumbai Angels Network. Jade Forest The funds will be utilized for geographical expansion and ... Read more »

Speed Vs Sustainability: How Rapid Expansion Plans Might Affect Your Startup Growth

Starting up is exciting but not easy. It is the most difficult career option and the most risky. But once the die is cast–product launched, customers started to buy, key ... Read more »

3 Resilient Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy Now

Resilient Blue-Chip Stocks Are Attractive in the Current Market Environment What are some of the typical qualities that make a company resilient? It’s usually a business that can generate profits ... Read more »

5 Reddit Penny Stocks To Watch This Week

Reddit Penny Stocks To Watch as November Comes to an End  With November almost over, plenty of penny stocks continue gaining momentum. Although it can be difficult to stumble upon ... Read more »

Should You Buy G-III Apparel Group (GIII) Ahead of Earnings?

Investors are always looking for stocks that are poised to beat at earnings season and G-III Apparel Group GIII may be one such company. The firm has earnings coming up ... Read more »

Bet on the Metaverse's Build-Out with a Stake in Matterport

InvestorPlace – Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips – InvestorPlace Ready to step directly into the metaverse? Or at least, get portfolio exposure to it? If so, ... Read more »

Gold IRA: Is This New Type of Retirement Account a Good Post-Pandemic Investment?

Today’s precarious economic environment makes a strong argument for alternative retirement investments for the post-pandemic era. This, at least, is the prevailing sentiment among many investors and market-watchers who fear ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic