Mari-Ann Ganson: co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Envirocache Ltd.
The #SheInnovates stories team sat down with Mari-Ann Ganson to discuss the role of women in innovation. Get involved at She Innovates Global.
#SheInnovates Stories: Innovation is solving the world's problems. What problem are you solving?
Mari-Ann Ganson: Envirocache is a mobile app, which will encourage children to get outside by taking part in nature treasure hunts. It has the benefit of allowing children to use technology to become more active, and can also be used as an educational tool to help them and their families learn more about the nature that surrounds them. Therefore, it has huge potential in many categories including education, health and well-being.
#SheInnovates: When did you realize your innovation was a breakthrough?
MG: I realized that Envirocache was a breakthrough when it garnered interest from several organizations. Firstly, from universities that were interested in partnering with us (before we chose Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen) to help us to develop the app, and later from charities displaying an interest in using the app within their organizations.
What were some unexpected obstacles you overcame in the innovation process?
MG: Our app started when we entered the Apps for Good competition; however, we did not reach the final. I would say our biggest obstacle was continuing with the idea after this, and finding another way to make our innovation possible. We entered again this year in the Legacy category and reached the UK final, showing that hard work does pay off.
What inspires you to love your work?
MG: I am inspired by the fact that my work will help to improve the health and well-being of children, as well as help in education. This is important to me as I would like to be a primary school teacher.
What do you hope that young women coming behind you will take from your work?
MG: I hope they will see that it's important to work hard at an idea and not give up if it's not accepted the first time. We did not reach the final [round] of Apps for Good, which was where our idea originated, but we kept working on Envirocache to get it to where it is today.
Why are women in innovation important?
MG: I think that women in innovation are important in order to encourage other girls and young women to develop an interest in technology.
Interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and length.