CHICAGO – Founded by two moms in 2020, local Chicago-based business Pluie has just been named the Grand Prize Winner of the Wintrust Business Spotlight Competition. The competition is a partnership between Chicago Innovation, Wintrust, and the Chicago Cubs.
Pluie’s business has seen success on the back of its ﬂagship product, the world’s ﬁrst and only self-sanitizing diaper changing table. These innovative changing tables are powered by a patented UV-C light system known to kill 99.9% of germs including inﬂuenza, e. Coli, and coronavirus. The UV-C light system activates when the table is closed, sanitizing the changing surface in just 60 seconds after each use. Pluie’s breakthrough design includes other ﬁrst-to-market features like a retractable safety strap, attached multipurpose diaper bag handle, and a plush foam leak-proof cushion.
“The Wintrust Business Spotlight is a highly competitive competition, and we congratulate the Pluie team on their vision, mission, and ability to bring a product to market that is unlike anything their industry has produced to date,” says Luke Tanen, president and CEO of Chicago Innovation. “Our mission is to empower the Chicago innovation ecosystem by educating, connecting, and celebrating innovators in our great city, and we are grateful to Addie and the other ﬁnalists who are blazing new trails to improve the quality of life for all.”
As a result of Pluie’s winning innovation, founder and CEO and mom of two, Addie Gundry, will throw the ﬁrst pitch at the September 27th Cubs game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:40pm CT.
“As a female founder, I couldn’t be more pleased that Pluie won the Wintrust Business Spotlight award, and as an avid fan of baseball and the Cubs, throwing the ﬁrst pitch at a game is a dream come true,” says Gundry.
“When I founded Pluie, my vision was to make a cleaner, safer, healthier alternative for parents and caregivers to change their baby’s diapers while on the go, and I’m grateful to Chicago Innovation, Wintrust, and the Cubs for seeing the critical need for this innovation to protect our most vulnerable in public facilities.”
Pluie is committed to Changing the Table™ by making sure all parents and caregivers on the go have access to a clean, safe and comfortable place to change their baby’s diaper in all 4 million public restrooms in the United States.
The timing of the Cubs game comes at an opportune moment for Pluie’s giveback initiatives, as September 24-October 2 is National Diaper Need Awareness Week. Before throwing the ﬁrst pitch at the game, Pluie will be donating diapers to Chicago-based nonproﬁt Cradles to Crayons that morning, as well as having the entire Pluie team volunteer their time to help the organization and its mission to provide kids with the essentials they need, free of charge. To date, Pluie has donated 1,000 pounds of diapers throughout the country in appreciation of businesses installing Pluie changing tables.
As a Grand Prize Winner, Pluie is also invited to attend Chicago Innovation’s “Practical Innovator” Executive MBA course hosted in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management and participate as a mentee in the Spring 2023 cohort of Chicago Innovation’s Women Mentoring Co-op.
This is not the ﬁrst time Pluie has been recognized and awarded for its innovative business. The
breakthrough UV-C self-sanitizing changing table design has also been named a Fast Company 2021
World Changing Idea and TIME Magazine Best Invention, and Gundry has been named to Inc.
Magazine’s Female Founder 100 list.
Pluie can now be found in 20 states across the country, including Illinois, at museums and amusement parks, hotels, restaurants, healthcare facilities, major retailers, stadiums, schools, and more.