High School Student Invents Gel That Replaces Bathing
A South African high school student took an idea sparked by a friend too lazy to bathe and turned it into a startup that won the 2011 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Ludwick Marishane, who now attends the University of Cape Town, beat 1,600 other students from around the world with his DryBath, a gel that does all the work of a bath—including eliminating bacteria—without the use of water.
Marishane spent six months researching the Internet on his mobile phone following a chance afternoon hanging out with friends—one who didn’t care for baths.
“He was lazy and he happened to say, ‘why doesn’t somebody invent something that you can just put on your skin and you don’t have to bathe,” Marishane said.
Within six months, he had devised a formula for the gel, which differs from anit-bacterial hand wash because it eliminates the alcohol smell and instead creates an odorless, biodegradable cleansing lotion with moisturizers.
After one year, Marishane had a completed business plan, applied for a patent and launched his startup, Heabody Industries.
DryBath could be instrumental in saving lives for the 2.5 billion people on Earth who do not have access to clean water. In countless poor communities people often die from treatable diseases caused by bacteria found in stagnant water. When people bathe in the water the bacteria can enter the digestive tract or enter an orifice such as the eye.
Through his award, Marishane was provided with $10,000 cash in order to finance his startup. DryBath packets are now sold for 50 cents each in developing nations, and can also be purchased for $1.50 apiece by corporate customers such as airlines and hotels.
[1st Image via LinkedIn, 2nd Image via Headboy Industries, Inc.]
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