Victor Nicolov

Nicolov discovered that garburators were bad for the sewer system and the environment, too

Victor Nicolov, 28

Founder + CEO, Anvy Technologies

Life Story: There’s no doubt that more than a few business ideas have been born out of UVic parties. But it’s likely safe to say that not many of them have made Time magazine’s annual list of the top 100 innovations of the year. Alas, Victoria native and engineering student Victor Nicolov was peeling potato skins when he got the idea for Sepura. “I had a big party at one point—cut, like, 40 potatoes and threw a bunch of peels in the garburator,” Nicolov recalls. “The whole thing got clogged; it was a disaster.”

In the process, Nicolov learned a bunch of things about garburators. “They’re bad for the environment and bad for cities–they don’t only cause clogs in your building but also further out,” he explains, noting that the devices are banned in many municipalities across Canada and in several European countries. “A lot of the time when you see the city digging up pipes outside, that’s maintenance for clogs that cost millions of dollars a year.”

So Nicolov set about creating a better garbage disposal that, instead of grinding kitchen scraps, separates and collects the solids in an odourless bin that lives under the sink. Then the user simply pours the waste into their compost bin.

Bottom Line: Partly thanks to the Time nod, Nicolov quickly sold out of pre-ordered units. He and Anvy’s five staff hope to ship the first 2,000 Sepuras—at $580 a pop—in the next few months.