Derry entrepreneur, Gary Bates, needs your votes.
Gary is from London and moved to Derry with his wife who is from here 18 years ago.
Gary, owns Big Fish Design and Advertising in Springtown Industrial Estate, invented something that could eradicate the risk of drink spiking.
The product is called, ‘Test Your Drink’, and is currently competing with other innovations for a share of investment from British business tycoon, Sir. Richard Branson.
To vote for ‘Test Your Drink’ visit - vmboom.com/testyourdrink
The ‘Journal’ caught up with Gary to ask him a few questions about ‘Test Your Drink’ and to find out why he thinks people should vote for him.
Q1 - What are your thoughts on the practical side of the product?
Gary - The test is extremely small and flat and can fit in any sized purse or pocket. The pack is easy to carry around and can be used discreetly.
The success of this test lies in the simplicity of its use.
There are 5 test papers in each pack that contain the testing chemicals so the pack can be used 5 times.
Simply tear off a sheet and dip it into your drink. If any of the test spots change colour this means your drink contains predatory drugs. The results are immediate and very effective.
The pack is really practical in its design as male and females can both have it on their person discreetly, with minimum fuss.
The test packs are also unique because of the five panels. These can be used by health authorities, drinks companies, government bodies or private companies to display important health information or general promotion or advertising.
Q2 - Why do you think there is a need?
Gary - Every year in the UK, hundreds of people are thought to be victims of drink spiking, where drugs or alcohol are added to someone’s drink without them knowing. In some cases, so called date rape drugs may be used to spike a drink before a sexual assault. Date rape drugs are particularly dangerous when mixed with alcohol because they combine to have a very powerful anaesthetic effect. In extreme cases, it can lead to a coma or even death.
A recent survey found that one in four women drinkers believed that they had had a drink spiked at least once. In our research we have identified these main points:
- Approximately one in four college aged women is date raped or experiences an attempted date rape during her college years.
- Eighty-four percent of women who have been date raped knew their attackers.
- Women between the ages of 16-24 are four times more likely to be date raped than any other age group.
- Approximately 90% of date rapes happen with alcohol involved.
- In one study, approximately 33% of men said that if they could escape date rape with out detection that they would rape someone.
- Forty-two percent of women who are date raped don’t tell any one at all about it.
- Twenty-seven percent of women who were date raped did not realise that what happened met the legal definition of date rape.
-Eighty-four percent of men who were involved in a date rape did not realise that what they did met the legal definition of date rape.
-Forty-four percent of women who have been date raped have considered suicide.
Q3 - Why should people vote for you?
Gary - The statistics show that the use of predatory drugs is on the increase and more people are starting to come forward to share their stories.
Most people know someone who has been affected. The process of voting puts the top 80 products through to stage 2. This is why voting is really important. If we can make it to stage 2 then there is a possibility that Test Your Drink could be available very quickly for the public to start using it. Richard Branson has a team of experts ready to take our product to the public if we get enough votes. Test Your Drink is of significant benefit to society. Votes are the only way for us to progress in this competition.
Q4 - What would it mean to you if you were get a share of the investment?
Gary - Our plan is to promote Test Your Drink to its full potential. Investment would help us to get Test Your Drink out into the public forum so that drink-spiking can be challenged and hopefully eliminated. Richard Branson’s team would support us in this process.
Q5 - How would it benefit your business?
Gary - Test Your Drink is at the start up stage and if the public voted to get it through to the next stage then it would help to grow the business and help the public to stay safer when out for the night.