Derry business looking for Sir Richard Branson investment

Gary Bates.
Gary Bates.

A Derry based entrepreneur is hoping world famous business magnate, Richard Branson, will invest in his drink spike detecting kit.

Gary Bates, originally from London, has been living in Derry for the last 18 years and 14 years ago he set-up his own business ‘Big Fish Design and Advertising’.

‘Big Fish Design and Advertising’ designed the logo for Derry’s year as City of Culture and the logo for the Derry~Londonderry~Doire Clipper Yacht.

Gary has also set up another company called ‘Gum-Rap’.

‘Gum-Rap’ is a small cardboard pack containing 10 sheets of paper which can be used to wrap chewing gum and dispose of it responsibly to avoid the expensive task of gum removal.

To date Gum-Rap has sold over 1 million units to local authorities, Keep Britain Tidy and Wrigley’s. The much advertised, recent ‘Bin It Your Way’ campaign was rolled out in conjunction with Wrigley’s throughout the UK and Ireland.

“From the ‘Gum-Rap’ product, I designed ‘Test Your Drink’ to combat drink-spiking,” said Gary.

“The so called date rape drugs, highly publicised in the media, are particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol as they combine to create a powerful anaesthetic effect. We used the same cardboard framework as ‘Gum-Rap’,” he added.

Gary said it was his aim to make the ‘Test Your Drink’ kit more available to the general public.

“The test is very user-friendly and easy to carry around and can be used discreetly. Simply tear out a sheet and dip it into your drink. If any of the testing spots turn red then this is an indicator that your drink contains GHB. If any of the testing spots turn blue then this is an indicator that your drink contains Ketamine.

“This product also has five panels which can be used for printing any promotional advertising, or health information. Our vision for Test Your Drink is to make it widely available to the public and particularly in the environment where alcohol is consumed.”

Gary has entered the ‘Test Your Drink’ product into the widely publicised Richard Branson competition where winners will have the chance to win a share of a £1m investment from Richard Branson.

“We are encouraging the public to get behind us as a local business and vote for ‘Test Your Drink’. To do this, simply go to the Voom website (www.vmbvoom.com ) go to ‘Browse Pitches’ and enter in the search field the name ‘Test Your Drink’.

Click on the Test Your Drink logo and click vote. This will prompt you to login via Facebook or LinkedIn. Continue to follow the easy steps. The voting closes on May 23,” said Gary.