Student Innovator Spotlight: 2021 World's Challenge Challenge Winners

The co-founders of ALL CAPS champion environmental sustainability in their quest to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable packaging in the beauty industry.


Tell us about yourself and your work!

We (Felisa Pador and Delilah Dias) are the co-founders of the startup ALL CAPS, which strives to eliminate the need for harmful non-biodegradable packaging materials in the beauty industry. Our mission is to create skin care products contained in single-serving biodegradable capsules in an effort to cut the large amount of waste and costs produced by plastic and other packaging materials. To do so, we are connecting with industry professionals and experts that can guide us in our prototyping journey. 

What does winning the World's Challenge Challenge mean to you?

The U of A finals was a vote of confidence from the judges and gave us the encouragement to make our idea a reality. It was also very enlightening to see how other teams were building partnerships both on and off-campus. We came away with renewed energy and several ideas as to how we can improve and grow our project.

What’s one challenge you want to solve through your work?

We are both avid skincare users who are passionate about the environment. Unfortunately, all of our favourite products often come with excess packaging. For example, we compiled all the products we’ve used in the past few six months and it amounted to around 30 non-biodegradable bottles. Although this number may seem small, it adds up quickly. There needs to be a better alternative to 12-step skin care routines which likely have separate bottles that have to be entirely replaced each time you run out of product.

What was your favourite part of taking part in the World’s Challenge Challenge?

The WCC competition seeks innovative, student-led initiatives that drive the United Nations Sustainability Goals forward and solves a global issue. Throughout the multiple stages of this competition, we learned of so many unique solutions presented by passionate students across all faculties and we felt fortunate to be part of a cohort that prioritizes positive change! 

What do you think are the biggest issues facing young innovators right now?    

As Covid-19 has pushed all of us into our own bubbles, the biggest challenge among young innovators is a lack of connection with fellow innovators, professionals and mentors. The task of bringing a new idea to life is often daunting and filled with self-doubt, so it becomes a task in itself to maintain that drive and confidence that is vital for an entrepreneurial initiative. Secondly, although there are so many resources available to young innovators in each and every field, it takes a lot of digging and researching to find and capitalize on these resources. Having access to a breadth of resources can be both encouraging, but also intimidating for first-time entrepreneurs. What do you do when you have a great idea, but don’t know where to start? That’s where it can be helpful to take a step back from research and start building a network of people who are knowledgeable in the industry of your focus; hearing their perspective on your idea can allow you to forge a path to improvement. You can learn a lot about the gaps in your idea by allowing others to pose the questions.

What advice would you give to students wants to start an initiative like ALL CAPS but is afraid to?

Our biggest advice is to simply start. Whatever you have on your bulletin board of ideas, start putting them into action even if they are imperfect. Oftentimes, it is easier to hold back on pitching, prototyping or launching a product because it is not 100%, but when you put your ideas into action, you will immediately find out which ideas can hold up and which ones need to be refined. You are most likely your biggest critic, so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and take a risk.

Shout out your work! What do you have coming up in your future?

At the moment, we are connecting with industry and academic professionals to support us in our project. Our research efforts also continue to uncover opportunities to better understand the Cosmetics industry and how best to design our product. We hope to finalize our materials and formulation processes this year in order to create the first iteration of our prototype. 

If you are interested in joining our team, check out our available roles here and apply, we would love to have you on board!

About Delilah and Felisa

Delilah Dias (she/her) is studying finance at the Alberta School of Business and is pursuing a real estate certificate alongside her degree. As the co-founder of ALL CAPS, she aims to drive sustainability forward and is excited to learn more about the world of entrepreneurship in doing so. 

Felisa Pador (she/her) is a recent Bachelor of Commerce graduate of the University of Alberta. Throughout her internships and volunteer work, she found her passion in the intersections of business, technology and sustainability. As the co-founder of ALL CAPS, she’s excited to create an impact in the beauty and packaging industry



About Francine

Francine is in her fifth and final year of the secondary education program with the fun combination of being a physics major and English minor (she swears there’s more overlap than it seems!) She is very importantly also an avid lover of bread and cats. When she's not spending time working and studying, you can catch her reading a book, playing video games, or finding various ways to be a loaf.