Demo Day show­ing off in­no­va­tions

Sunshine Coast Daily - Caloundra Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Ju­lia Whitwell ju­[email protected]­

TESS McGowan-Chan was three months preg­nant when she was di­ag­nosed with melanoma but she de­cided not to un­dergo chemo­ther­apy in a bid to give her baby the best chance at life.

Just 11 months later, Tess passed away.

Her death in June 2012 in­spired her brother Raphael McGowan to try and find a way to com­bat melanoma.

Mr McGowan raised funds for the Melanoma In­sti­tute Aus­tralia, he con­ducted re­search into so­cial fac­tors con­tribut­ing to the prob­lem and in Jan­uary he left his job in Syd­ney to start work­ing on a so­lu­tion.

“I started do­ing some re­search into why peo­ple were get­ting sun­burned,” Mr McGowan said.

“They didn’t like us­ing sun­screen be­cause it left their hands greasy, and they couldn’t reach parts of their back.”

What he came up with is bak­slap, a sun­screen ap­pli­ca­tor for those hard-to-reach places.

“It’s 20cm in length and it has a re­place­able sponge,” Mr McGowan said.

“It’s por­ta­ble and can fit in your hand.”

While full-scale pro­duc­tion of the sun­screen ap­pli­ca­tor is yet to com­mence, the de­sign is al­ready win­ning awards.

Bak­slap placed first in the In­no­va­tion Cen­tre Sun­shine Coast’s Tourism, Sport and Leisure Demo Day last week and Mr McGowan said he was glad for the sup­port.

“I’m happy my pas­sion and mes­sag­ing was clear, it res­onated with a lot of peo­ple,” he said.

“It was a won­der­ful mo­ment for our fam­ily.”

Other in­no­va­tions pitched at the event in­cluded SCRAP, an in­ter­ac­tive on­line drama se­ries based on the Sun­shine Coast, and Cy­cle­vi­sion, a cy­cling hel­met that al­lows a 320° view around the rider. Also on dis­play was Wand­spro, the world’s only clip-to­gether camp crock­ery.

For more de­tails about bak­slap fol­low them on In­sta­gram or visit in­no­va­tion­cen­

It’s por­ta­ble and can fit in your hand. — Raphael McGowan


SUR­VEY SAYS: Greasy hands and hard-to-reach places are about to be a thing of the past with the bak­slap sun­screen ap­pli­ca­tor about to hit the mar­ket.

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