Sun safety simplified with a UWaterloo invention

Suncayr team

Suncayr Team from left to right:
Hayden 
Soboleski, Derek Jouppi, Rachel Pautler, Andrew Martinko, Chad Sweeting

The sun is shining bright on five Nanotechnology students who have developed a brilliant way to help keep skin safe from UV rays.

Fourth-year students Rachel PautlerCEO of Suncayr and co-founders Derek Jouppi, Hayden Soboleski, Chad Sweeting, and Andrew Martinko are developing a colour-changing marker that will tell users when their sunscreen is no longer protecting them. Once the marker is used on the skin, the ink would then be covered with sunscreen along with the rest of the user’s body. When they are protected, the ink is one colour, but when the sunscreen wears off and their skin is exposed to UV, the ink immediately changes to another color. This gives an easy visual warning that you need to reapply sunscreen.

Video featuring Suncayr product, by SourceFed

As engineers at UWaterloo, the culmination of these students’ degrees end with the opportunity to build a product in Capstone Design courses. This Capstone team decided to pursue their venture early to get a head start on developing the solution to sunburns. This is when they became involved with UWaterloo's entrepreneurship scene. 

During the Summer of 2014, Andrew and Derek took an Enterprise Co-op to work on Suncayr, after winning the beginning-of-term pitch competition. The challenge gave them the funds to start their business, which has since garnered the attention of the James Dyson Foundation, who has named Suncayr as one of their top 20 inventions this year.

The support of multiple campus resources have helped Suncayr evolve over the past year. The Velocity Science program, the services provided by the Conrad Centre, professors, and administration have been a huge support system for Suncayr. The advice and resources received has been essential to Suncayr’s technology development, including raising initial capital.

After speaking with Dr. Marc Gibson, we were admitted into the (Velocity) program, and to date, it has been the home of all of our tech development and a source of mentorship from both professors in the faculty, and from fellow biotech/physical science startups.

Learn more about this product on Suncayr's Website and the James Dyson Foundation website. Expect to see big news on when you can order a Suncayr marker in 2015!

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