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The Bathroom Line Gets a Speed Hack

This story appears in the September 2014 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneurs: Allen Klevens, a composer and founder of Prescriptive Music, and Todd Bermann, founder of audio and video company TAB Technical Services, created Tooshlights, an LED lighting system that lets people know from afar which stalls are available in public bathrooms. The Los Angeles-based company's system operates on a color scheme: A green light signals an available stall; red, occupied or out of order; blue, an available handicapped stall.

"Aha" moment: "The idea fell into our laps from a patron who attended an event at the Hollywood Bowl and was frustrated," says Klevens, who serves as Tooshlights' CEO. The concertgoer contacted the venue complaining that despite long bathroom lines, many stalls were actually unoccupied; people were just reluctant to knock or peek under a stall to determine whether it was free. The team at the Hollywood Bowl discussed the issue with longtime contractor Bermann, who jerry-built an early version of Tooshlights based on a wired magnetic system. Seeing the enthusiastic response from concertgoers after the installation, Bermann and Klevens partnered with architect Ella Hazard to develop the system further and to market it to other venues.

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