Mum’s Invention Finds Funding | The Newcastle Herald | 31st August 2015

REDHEAD ‘‘mumtrepreneur’’ Jennifer Holland has wooed Brisbane multimillionaire Michael Dempsey to come on board as a major shareholder in her fledgling medical device business and is poised to reap a windfall from distribution deals.

Ms Holland invented the Throat Scope – a transparent tongue depressant that illuminates inside the mouth and takes the heartache out of oral cavity examinations for kids, parents anddoctors  – after taking her youngest child to the GP in 2009.

‘‘My son had a sore throat and the doctor was trying to look in his mouth with a wooden tongue depressor and it was quite distressing having to help hold him down while they were looking,’’ she said.

After years of tinkering on a prototype, the mother-of-four pitched the Throat Scope on the Channel 10 entrepreneur program Shark Tank earlier this year.

She convinced tech start-up millionaire Steve Baxter to offer  $76,000 for a 30 per cent stake in the company, plus 5 per cent of royalties of sales up to the investment amount.

Ms Holland  confirmed she has successfully pitched her business to Mr Dempsey, who sold his electronic payments processing business Ezidebit to a US company for $305 million late last year.

‘‘He loves the device and the story and thinks we have a great team behind it, he was impressed and wanted to move forward and be a major shareholder,’’ said Ms Holland. ‘‘He will give us advice when he can, he’s a lovely guy.”

Until now working from home while nursing her youngest child, Ms Holland will soon move into a new office minutes from her home to give her the space she needs to develop her business, with her corporate team based in Brisbane.

She said an initial capital raising drive has secured $360,000 from private investors and last week she finalised a deal with Ebos Healthcare, one of the largest medical distributors in Australia and New Zealand.

The initial Ebos deal  will see 200,000 Throat Scope blades distributed to GPs, hospitals and aged care facilities, as well as 2000 starter packs.

Ms Holland said this month her company will pitch to Walgreens, the largest pharmacy chain in the US, alongside the second biggest operator, CVS Group.

‘‘There are also lots of other discussions going on with distributors overseas but nothing I can confirm yet,’’ she said.

The Throat Scope is being manufactured by a Sydney supplier in China, from where the product will be shipped to Ms Holland’s office for national distribution, as well as Hong Kong for US shipping orders.

Ms Holland said the last few months had been ‘‘unreal’’ though she hadn’t had time to stop and think about the fine details.

“I haven’t had a moment to myself,” she said.

‘‘The deals take forever, you agree on something and then weeks later you confirm because the contracts are going back and forth, it does take a toll on you, you think ‘when will it end’.’’

Read the original article HERE

Medical Equipment Invention Designed to Assist Parents | ABC News | 19th October 2015

A Lake Macquarie woman says a trip to the family GP with her sick child led to an invention that she hopes will modernise mouth examinations around the world.

Jennifer Holland from Redhead has created an illuminated tongue depressor, that she has called Throat Scope.

She used a $50,000 Queensland Government grant, as well as a stint on a reality television show, to get her project off the ground.

Ms Holland said the idea came to her in 2009.

“I took my 15-month-old child to the doctors,” she said.

“The doctor was trying to restrain my child, I was helping him, he was using a wooden tongue depressor in one hand and a hand-held torch in the other, and he was trying to open his mouth.

“That was my light bulb moment.

“So I started looking at different designs and realised we could use simple LEDs to shine through plastic that would light up inside the mouth.”

Ms Holland said the first shipment arrived this month, after six years of an entrepreneurial rollercoaster ride.

“One minute things are going really well, and then the next minute you’ve hit a road block and you have to try and find a way through,” she said.

“But, we’re here now, and wanting to see this device in every hospital, and doctors surgery, and every home – that’s my goal.

“I want to make life easier for mums and dads.

“They can use it for all sorts of things – checking for a sore throat, checking for an ulcer, helping you apply ulcer cream, pulling something out of your child’s mouth, like playdough, which I do a lot.”

Read the original article HERE

Throat Scope Inventor & Mum Jennifer Holland Strikes Global Deal | The Newcastle Herald | 18th April 2016

Mother-of-four Jennifer Holland has struck a global distribution deal for her medical invention Throat Scope that she estimates is worth $15 million over three years.

But after seven years in the making, reality has not set in.

“I’ve been travelling all around the world but then I’ll have the kids at my feet and think ‘wow, the company has gone global but I’m still just a mum,” she laughs.

The Throat Scope, a transparent tongue depressant that illuminates inside the mouth and takes the stress out of oral examinations for kids, parents and doctors, has secured a worldwide distribution deal that will see it retailed in 140 countries.

The company signed an agreement with GIMA Italy, Europe’s largest medical distributor, and Paris Labs in Canada, and will be picked up by the health care sector (hospitals, surgeries) and retail (pharmacies).

It follows Throat Scope’s coup last year in securing a distribution deal with EBOS Healthcare in Australia and Zealand, and investment from Brisbane multimillionaire Michael Dempsey.

The company is poised to launch a fresh capital raising bid to fund its planned expansion into the US market.

The European deals were sealed after two of Throat Scope’s directors attended Medica, one of the largest medical trade shows in the world, wearing the illuminated Throat Scope devices around their necks.

“People were just drawn to them,” Ms Holland said.

Her light-bulb moment came in 2009, when her one-year-old son had a sore throat and was upset when a GP tried to look inside his mouth with the standard wooden tongue depressant.

She tinkered on a prototype for Throat Scope – which parents can use and tends to intrigue rather than spook kids with its light – before pitching it on Channel 10’s Shark Tank. She convinced tech start-up millionaire Steve Baxter to offer $76,000 for a 30 per cent slice in the company plus 5 per cent royalties of sales up to the investment amount.

Ms Holland, whose children are all aged under seven and whose husband is a FIFO worker, has invested $150,000 into the product.

Read the original article HERE

How Jennifer Holland Turned an Idea into a Multimillion Dollar Business | Smart Company | 6th May 2016

It has been 12 months since Jennifer Holland appeared on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank to pitch her light-up tongue depressors.

“It was a very scary and nerve-wrecking experience,” Holland tells SmartCompany.

“But it was the number one best moment for the business.”

During the episode, Holland presented her patented Throat Scope device, an illuminating LED-lit tongue depressor with a disposable blade, which can be used by medical professionals or parents to easily examine the mouth and throat.

Following a dramatic Shark Tank stare-down, investor Steve Baxter injected $76,000 into Throat Scope in return for a 30% stake in the company and a 5% royalty till the money is paid back.

Taking Baxter’s advice, Holland decided to grow her team, bringing in Throat Scope’s own corporate director David Toomey and commercialisation director Charles Cornish.

“Dave has run all of our capital raising,” she says.

“Charles has helped with all the distribution deals all over the world.”

The result?

The team raised $360,000 on a pre-sale valuation of $2 million, got the product to market and have sealed major deals with some of the largest healthcare, wholesale and pharmacy distributors in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada.

Holland says they will soon be making more exciting announcements about US distributors.

These deals have the potential to take Throat Scope to more than 100 countries around the world.

To drive them further, Holland and her team are undertaking another $1 million capital raise to help them launch across Europe and the US.

“We’ve got our distribution deals done, now it’s a matter of doing a marketing deal,” she says.

A large part of Throat Scope’s success has come from Holland staying alert to new opportunities and seizing every one that would help her get it out there, she says.

“When I first started the [application] process I didn’t know it was for Shark Tank at all,” she says.

“I saw an ad on TV and thought I’ll give it a go.”

Putting her soul, heart and business on the line, Holland appeared before millions of viewers with one wish: to get an investor.

At the time, Holland and her partner had backed Throat Scope with their entire family savings of $150,000.

“I don’t know how I would have reacted if I didn’t get a deal,” she says.

Preparing for Shark Tank

Going on Shark Tank is a rigorous process and you will be asked every question under the sun to determine whether the venture you’re working on is legitimate, she says.

“You really need to be completely over-prepared,” she says.

Before the show, Holland wrote down every question that could be asked and went through every scenario that could happen.

“I watched a lot of Shark Tank US episodes and I think that really prepared me,” she says.

When she went before the sharks, Holland felt she had a robust understanding of the business and its numbers.

“If you don’t know your figures, go and get financial help,” she says.

“They’re the most important things.”

Finding an investor that cares

Holland says getting Baxter onboard has been truly valuable for the development of Throat Scope.

“Whenever I need a second opinion or anything I know that Steve’s on the other end of the phone or email,” she says.

This has been crucial for Holland.

“You’ve got to find investors that actually believe in your product,” she says.

“You can find people anywhere who have money.”

Learning to start a business

Holland, a former accountant and first-time business owner, says she had no idea how to grow a venture when she started.

“But people can research anything [online], you can find out information on how to take an idea and turn it into a reality,” she says.

Embarking on a massive learning curve, she started building Throat Scope, seizing every opportunity to drive it further.

In 2011, she applied for the Queensland Government’s ‘What’s your big idea?’ competition and won $50,000, which helped her get her prototype to the next stage.

Very early on, Holland also made sure she got her intellectual property in place and started building her device from there.

“Provisional patents and trademarks are crucial,” she says.

Holland spent three years building Throat Scope and getting out a prototype before entering Shark Tank.

“It took a couple of years to develop it because along the process I had three children and now I have four children!” she says.

The light-bulb moment that started it all

The idea to create Throat Scope hit Holland during a standard GP visit.

“I actually took my 15 month old son into the doctors who was suffering with a sore throat and the doctor, while he was a holding a light in one hand and a wooden depressor in the other, asked me to restrain my child,” she says.

It was an unpleasant experience, one that would affect all her children.

“I thought surely there must be something else,” she says.

But there wasn’t.

When Holland went home and looked it up on Google she discovered the only other patented depressors had fibreoptic cable running through the blade making them too expensive compared to a wooden depressor.

A month later, she founded Throat Scope and so began the journey to Holland’s first business.

“For me it has always been about believe, act, persist – believe in yourself and believe in your ability to achieve it,” she says.

“Don’t stop, you are going to get knockbacks [but] the faster you get back up the quicker you’ll find your next opportunity.”

 Read the original article HERE

Throat Scope Road Test | The Australian | 7th May 2016

Throat Scope? What’s that? It’s a scope for peering down throats.

That’s helpful. Keep going. This clever Aussie invention is touted as an “all-in-one light and tongue depressor”: tiny LEDs in the handle light up the clear plastic shaft. No more juggling with a torch and a wooden craft stick to look into a kid’s gob. It’s a blessing for clinicians and parents.

Why parents? Wobbly teeth, sore throats, prison-style shake-downs for smuggled lollies. You know the drill.

Pros? A) It’s a one-handed operation, so your other hand is free for tasks such as taking clinical notes, or pouring a glass of wine; B) It’s great for finding things that have slipped down the back of the sofa; and C) It looks like a tiny lightsaber. Who knew oral cavity examinations could be so much fun?

Read the original article HERE

Mother of Invention | The Newcastle Herald | 10th June 2016

FOR a split second, Jennifer Holland looks like a toddler caught with its hand in the lolly jar.

 FAMILY FIRST: Throat Scope inventor Jennifer Holland, of Redhead, with her four children - Ronan, age 8, Victoria, 5, Isabella, 2, and Ethan, 6. Picture: Marina Neil

“I took my children to a Play School concert once and I thought ‘I would love this, being a kids’ entertainer, I love creating and doing arts and crafts with my kids.”

The flash of guilt on the Redhead mum’s face stems from the fact she knows she has way too much on her plate to contemplate shenanigans with Big Ted and Jemima.

Holland’s primary role and greatest joy is that of loving mother, chef, taxi and Mrs Fix It to her four children, aged 8, 6, 5 and 2, her task made tougher when her marine engineer husband Andrew works inter-state.

Her second passion, and growing priority, is Throat Scope, the oral cavity examination medical device she invented seven years ago that has, after a roller-coaster of business and personal events, secured a global distribution deal that will net the business and Holland’s star investor backers at least $15 million over the next couple of years.

“It’s not organic, you have to drive it,” Holland says of her success as she lunches at a cafe near her Redhead office. “I don’t have time to smell the roses, I am always go, go, go. Maybe in five years I might say ‘ok, I’ll have a holiday’.”

Holland’s first brush with the medical world was for all the wrong reasons, yet it – and her parents’ occupations – would lead to her confidence as a medical “mumpreneur”.

She was a baby when her mother, Eileen, a child and family health nurse,  twigged that her daughter didn’t flinch at the sound of clashing as she rummaged in the saucepan drawer.

“Mum took me straight to the doctor’s and they did lots of tests and realised I was deaf,” she says, explaining that the cause was never determined due to the lack of technological nous at the time.

Holland wore listening aids and spent two years with speech pathologists before her hearing inexplicably returned at the age of two, and she soon grew accustomed to frequenting medical rooms thanks to the work of her nurse mum and father, Ralph Watson, a former CEO of Catholic Care of the Aged.

Fast forward to 16 and the “fiercely independent” Holland, the middle child of three children, had left home and was poised to start Year 11 at St Francis Xavier’s College in Newcastle when she convinced her folks to let her complete school at TAFE.

“I just wanted to get it done ASAP,” she says of the move, which shortened her final years of study.

Enrolled at the University of Newcastle, Holland soon flipped law for accounting, later working as an assistant financial accountant for various companies.

In her early 20s – she is now 34 – she had a myriad of start-up ideas she canvassed with her husband and friends.

“Some [ideas] Jen would research then found out they have been done already, others she has had but not followed through with have become multi-million-dollar products,” confirms Andrew Holland.

Her turn would come in 2009, when she took then 15-month old son Ronan to the GP with suspected tonsillitis.

Heavily pregnant, Holland was asked to hold her son on her lap as the GP took the standard wooden tongue depressor, like a Paddle Pop stick, in one hand to examine the inside of Ronan’s mouth, while holding a torch in the other hand.

“It was a big struggle, I was more or less restraining Ronan, and I just looked around the doctor’s office and I realised there were so many new products they use every day so why didn’t they have anything better for this,” Holland recalls.

“I hopped in the car and grabbed my phone and Googled things like ‘illumination of the throat’ and ‘one hand’ and there was nothing there.”

It took a long time for Holland to develop Throat Scope, a transparent, all-in-one light and tongue depressor that removes the stress of an oral cavity examination for kids, GPs and parents – as she added to her brood.

“My main focus was being a full-time mum, my second was developing this product and reaching out to companies to see if they would partner, but because I was in such early stages they weren’t,” she says.

Within two years of working after her kids went to bed she had provisional patents, trademarks and her business name: “It came straight to me …Certain things just fall into place and the ones that don’t aren’t meant to be”.

In 2010, the Holland family was living in Brisbane when she presented her idea to the Queensland Government biomedical board.

“They said it was the best idea they had seen in 12 months and it just gave me the confidence I needed, I thought ‘this could be something big, I’ll keep going’, she says.

She entered Throat Scope in a State Government innovation grants round and won $50,000, ploughing the booty into product development.

I thought ‘this could be something big, I’ll keep going’.– Jennifer Holland

Things looked up when a US medical company showed interest in partnering, but the ramifications of the GFC saw it cuts its innovation budget.

“It was gutting but you get the knockdowns,” Holland says. “The thing is you can’t take it personally, you may get a no today but tomorrow might bring the yes you need.”

When Andrew Holland’s job saw the family relocate to Perth, Jennifer kept beavering away at the lengthy patent authorisation in Australia and the US and developing her website.

Back in Newcastle in 2013, the couple’s fourth child, Isabella, was born as more investors were biting, but when Holland fell ill and delayed in signing the contract, the interest dried up.

“Business moves quite quickly and you have to jump on when things are hot, so I missed that opportunity but my priority has always been my family,” she says.

Fate would intervene, though Holland may wish the circumstances were different.

In May, 2014, she put a dab of peanut butter on a biscuit for Isabella, then eight months, to try for the first time, only to watch in horror as her baby suffered an anaphylactic reaction.

“The biscuit touched her lip and she just exploded, her whole mouth was swollen up to her mouth, I put her in the car and drove her to hospital, which was a mistake,” Holland says, chastising herself for not waiting for an ambulance.

Isabella recovered but during her treatment Holland again watched with dread as three medical staff held her baby down to use a wooden tongue depressor to examine her mouth.

“The staff were just doing their job, but I just thought, ‘I have a product that could change this situation’, it kicked me into action,” she says.

Weeks later she saw a TV ad to compete in Channel Ten’s entrepreneurial program Shark Tank, giving her a one-off chance for financial backing.

And not a moment too soon.

“I needed an investor because we had run out of money, my husband and I had put $150,000 into it, it was everything we had, patents cost a lot of money and I didn’t want to risk any more,” she says.

Holland had spent hours researching the US version of Shark Tank, working out to the dollar and per centage what she would take if she was offered a deal and how much equity she would relinquish.

But moments before being thrust before a panel of three potential investors, or “sharks”, and rows of TV cameras, she lost momentum, thrown by a request to not say the name of her product during filming, due to  editing requirements.

It was her eldest son Ronan, he who set the whole Throat Scope journey rolling and stood beside her during her first televised pitch, who came to her rescue.

“He just said to me ‘mum, you look after four of us every day, this is easy’,” she smiles, “and I thought ‘right, I’ve got nothing to lose’…I didn’t notice the cameras, the nerves just vanished and I pitched my heart out.”


Tech start-up multimillionaire Steve Baxter offered her $76,000 for a 30 per cent stake in the company, and five per cent of royalties to that sum.

“I decided to invest because Jennifer’s idea solved a problem, was easy to understand and was scale-able,” Baxter says, adding that Holland is “passionate, focused and driven” and has “successfully executed her goals with the support of a good team”.

Holland’s A-team includes corporate director David Toomey and commercial director Charles Cornish, who helped woo Brisbane multimillionaire Michael Dempsey to become a major shareholder.

In its first capital raise last year, Throat Scope netted $360,000 from private investors before securing a distribution deal with Ebos Healthcare, one of the largest medical distributors in Australia and New Zealand.

The best was to come: the company recently signed a distribution deal with Gima Italy, Europe’s largest medical distributor, and Paris Labs in Canada, which will see Throat Scope used in hospitals and surgeries and sold in pharmacies in 140 countries.

Holland won’t be drawn on the value of the deals, only saying the GIMA Italy and Paris Lab partnerships were worth about $15 million over three years.

Another capital raise to fund the company’s push into Europe and the US is underway and she says she wants to retain 51 per cent ownership of the company (at present she holds 60 per cent).

Holland has designed accessories for Throat Scope and is already moving further, developing  prototypes for new products – inspired by her brood’s medical experiences – that she hopes will hit the market sooner than later.

“The [new] products can assist doctors with their diagnosis and are also designed for in-home use, giving parents the ability to examine kids themselves,” she says, choosing her words carefully.

Lunch aside,  Holland speaks quickly of her goals to have Throat Scope in every corner of the world – “we are well on our way!” – and the importance of consistency in building the brand.

She admits her personal life consists of taking her kids to play dates but her eyes light up when she explains how she wants parents to use her product, and kids to “enjoy” a visit to the doctor.

And then, her chair scrapes back and she’s off, scurrying like any harried, working parent to school pick-up, a self-made multi-millionaire in our midst.

Shark Tank entrepreneur visits Macleay | Macleay College | 23rd June 2016

Throat Scope illuminating the inside of a patient's mouth

Jennifer Holland embarked on her entrepreneur journey when she developed the idea for a new and improved medical device – the Throat Scope.

After experiencing a “light bulb” moment when a doctor used a wooden tongue depressor to pry open her first-born’s mouth, Ms Holland found her drive and began researching her idea to develop an alternative revolutionary tool for oral cavity examination.

What started off as a prototype costing about $1 a piece led to an estimated $15 million business in just three years.

The Sydney-based mother of four visited Macleay College this week to share her experience with entrepreneurship businesses students.

“When I set out on my journey, I knew that I had to do one thing and it was to find a technology that could compete with the wooden tongue depressor which was about two to four cents, so how do you do that?” Ms Holland told the students

“My very first prototype was actually an LED light strapped to a piece of plastic where the light transmitted through the blade and came out the end. I made that at home. It cost me practically nothing.”

After developing the prototype, Ms Holland presented it with the aid of a visual patent designed by herself to the Queensland government biomedical board at a mentoring session in 2010.

She then seized the opportunity of becoming involved in Queensland’s grant scheme What’s Your Big Idea? in 2011, successfully winning $50,000 to go towards the continual development of the design and the next prototype of the Throat Scope.

“I went in there and I executed, and I think the main thing around how I actually pulled off getting that money and the funding from the Queensland government was that I was prepared,” Ms Holland said.

After an appearance on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank in 2015, Ms Holland put together a team of professionals to help commercialise her product.

“It was all about building a tension around the launch and making sure that we built the media’s attention, got them interested in what we were doing and tried to bring them on board,” she said.

“We are actually now distributing to 145 countries around the world. We’ve done distribution deals in Europe, Canada and hopefully the US.”

The Throat Scope has made an appearance on Sydney’s well-known television show Bondi Vet, featuring a pug with a troublesome tongue, as well as The Today Show earlier this year.

Ms Holland is now focusing on distributing the Throat Scope into a number of retail chains. 

Throat Scope: Lighting Throats Around the World | Cullen’s | 23rd June 2016

Throat Scope illuminating the inside of a patient's mouth

It can be difficult for a doctor or parent to examine a child’s throat.  If a wooden tongue depressor is used, with one hand the doctor or parent depresses the child’s tongue, and a light is directed into the child’s mouth with the other hand.  But what if the child doesn’t want their mouth examined?  There are no more hands to hold the child still or to help keep their mouth open!

Throat Scope was developed by a mother, Jennifer Holland, who had to restrain her child while the doctor pried open the child’s mouth with a wooden tongue depressor – a distressing experience.  It was following this experience that Jennifer decided to develop Throat Scope.

The Solution – Throat Scope

Throat Scope is an illuminated tongue depressor.  Coupling the blade of the tongue depressor to the handle activates a light source, which directs light down the blade.  When the blade is inserted into the child’s mouth the child’s throat is illuminated.  Consequently, with one hand a doctor or parent can depress a child’s tongue and illuminate the child’s throat.  This leaves a doctor or parent with a spare hand which can help to keep the child’s mouth open.

In 2010 Jennifer filed her first patent application for the Throat Scope product.  She now has trade marks, patents and designs protecting her product.

Throat Scope is now being sold all over the world, especially in Australia, Canada and Europe.  In Australia the product can be purchased at Chemmart Pharmacies for home use, and at EBOS Heathcare and Vital Medical Supplies for the Healthcare industry.

The Message

Patents, designs and trade marks protect the Throat Scope product, and appropriate intellectual property protection was the foundation of this business.  This intellectual property protection, coupled with a great deal of effort, drive and determination has resulted in the commercial success that we see today.

Read the original post HERE

Throat Scope Review | Speech Room News

Throat Scope illuminating the inside of a patient's mouth

I love simple ideas that are genius. Today’s post is a Throat Scope Review and it’s one of those simple genius ideas.  You know, the kind that make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” A company from Australia, Throat Scope, reached out to me a few weeks ago and I was instantly interested in their product. Throat Scope is an illuminated tongue depressor. Wait, seriously, why didn’t I think of that?!

They sent me a Throat Scope and set of blades to test out and I am so impressed with this product. The simplified review? It works, reduces the materials I need, and engages kids. It’s a win.

Throat Scope was started by a company in Australia. It was actually featured on Shark Tank Australia. It will be sold in the US soon.

The details:

  • The unit has a base with a light that shoots into a clear disposable blade.
  • The unit costs about $20 and 50 replaceable blades are about $15.
  • The battery life is 20 hours
  • The blades slip off with just a simple release.
  • It looks like a lightsaber and kids (and adults?) LOVE that.
  • It provides a view of the soft palate and uvula.
  • No more holding a pen light and tongue depressor while trying to position the clients body/face.

My brother was in town and I forced him to let me inspect his oral cavity using the throat scope. I was surprised at the amount of light the Throat Scope puts out. It definitely works!

The disposable blades make it perfect for healthcare.

Read the original post HERE



A Great Tool For SLPs to Use in Articulation and Mirror Therapy!

Articulation and Mirror Therapy Tool – Throat Scope

If you’re an SLP and have tried to do some articulation and mirror therapy with a student to help with tongue placement, you’re going to love. this. tool.

It’s called Throat Scope. You can use this to literally light up the inside of a child’s mouth so that they can clearly see where to place their tongue for sounds like /r/, /k/, and /g/.

When I first saw this, I thought it looked kinda like a Darth Vader glowing Light Saber. So, I’m guessing there will be some Star Wars fans out there who think this Scope is pretty cool and would be more than happy to participate! ;)

I’m also thinking about those school nurses and parents who have students with special needs, who have trouble getting kids to open their mouths long enough to see what’s going on in the back of their throat.

At least with Throat Scope, you will get a clear look, even if it’s quick!

It’s simple and easy to use. I found this Throat Scope for about 20 bucks.

I’ve been looking to find some things specifically for SLPs because I so often share ideas that are often more appropriate for special education teachers. I saw today’s tool in a video done by a fellow SLP who goes by the name Peachie Speechie. It’s not only great for when you want to do some mirror work, but it’s also a great tool for parents and nurses!!! I actually ordered this tool online but was hoping to find it somewhere local since the package has a sticker that says, “As seen on TV.”

You won’t want to miss this!

So, here’s how it works:

It’s just a light. And this little plastic Saber tongue depressor kind of thing that lights up.

You simply put it into the student’s mouth, and you get a much clearer look.

DISCLAIMER: In this video, it says you “can disinfect blades between students or uses.” HOWEVER, THROAT SCOPE BLADES ARE SINGLE-USE ONLY. Throat Scope blades are FDA-approved for single-use only to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. Reusing blades puts you and your patient at risk. Please dispose of the recyclable single-use blades in your recycle bin and change blades between each use and each patient.

I’ve been looking to find some things specifically for SLPs, because I so often share ideas that are often more appropriate for special education teachers.

I saw today’s tool in a video done by a fellow SLP who goes by the name Peachie Speechie. It’s not only great for when you want to do some mirror work, but it’s also a great tool for parents and nurses!!! I ordered this tool online.

Read the original blog by Carla Butorac at Behavior Communicates HERE.


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Throat Scope: One Little Idea That Lit Up the World | NAB

TelScope Oral Telehealth System App

Restraining a sick son while a GP pried open his mouth with a tongue depressor sparked the idea for an examination tool that’s now secured global distribution deals worth more than $15 million.

In 2009 young mum Jennifer Holland struck upon a simple idea that would make throat examinations an easier process for health professionals as well as parents. Seven years of persistence and determination later her invention Throat Scope has gone global with distribution deals that will see it sold in more than 140 countries.

As she approaches her start-up business’s first anniversary since launch, entrepreneur Jennifer Holland’s story continues to enthral those who hear it.

The mother of four children under the age of ten is the inventor of Throat Scope, a light up tongue depressor aimed at making throat examinations easier for both doctors and parents.

Newcastle-based Holland and her company have been on an accelerated ride since appearing on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank in May 2015 and then securing international distribution deals worth more than $15 million that will see the product sold in more than 140 countries.

The former accountant’s Shark Tank pitch – with oldest son Ronan alongside her – garnered some desperately needed cash, as well as advice, that’s been the springboard to the global markets she was seeking.

“It was an amazing moment for the business,” says Holland. “My husband and I had invested about $150,000 in it up until then. We’d decided to risk it for the idea, but we didn’t realise the length of the journey, how long it can take to find the right investors. It’s hard.”

Based on Holland’s presentation of her device, which comprises an LED-lit tongue depressor with a disposable blade, ‘shark’ investor Steve Baxter offered to inject $76,000 in return for 30 per cent of the company and a five per cent royalty until the money is repaid.

Just as valuable as the money was the advice Baxter gave her on how to get Throat Scope to market, says Holland.

“I think people forget these are five people with brilliant brains [on the show] and they’re going to find anything you don’t know, that you haven’t thought about. Behind the scenes they do a lot of due diligence on your company,” Holland says.

“Steve straight away said, ‘Jen, you need help: you need to find a team to support you, you need advisors.’ So I went out and found my team.”

That team included Throat Scope corporate director David Toomey, commercialisation director Charles Cornish and company secretary Duncan Cornish.

The team raised $360,000 on a pre-sale valuation of $2 million and secured distribution deals with major healthcare distributors in Australia, Europe and Canada.

“We then had the money to do our tooling and get the trademarks and patents we needed to go worldwide and get the commercial product that you see today up and running. It happened quickly. I did Shark Tank in February 2015 and launched onto the market in October. The last year and a half has been a blur.”

To help drive the product’s launch the team undertook another $1 million capital raising, reaching the target in July. The company is also in the process of signing off on a deal with a US healthcare distributor. Holland says the marketing push there will accelerate when the product hits shelves next year.

She headed to the US in early September for meetings with potential cross promotional partners and is considering a temporary relocation of her family there next year. “We’re tossing up a few options,” she says.

Light bulb moment

A budding entrepreneur from her teens, Holland says she’d been on the lookout for ‘the big idea’ for many years. But it was at a trip to the doctor with her then 15-month-old son Ronan at the end of 2009 when the inspiration for Throat Scope struck.

“Ronan seemed to have a sore throat so I took him to the GP,” says Holland. “The doctor got out his wooden tongue depressor and held it in one hand and the torch in the other and asked me to restrain my son while he pried open his mouth. It was pretty unpleasant and I thought there must be a better way.

“When I got out of the surgery I Googled it and found there was really nothing out there. That was an amazing moment. There were products available but they had a fibre optic cable running through the blade and were too expensive compared to the wooden tongue depressor doctors used.”

Holland lodged some patents and began developing the product. In 2011 she won a Queensland Government innovation award and began using the $50,000 prize money to develop and produce prototypes.

Securing the right investors to take the product to the next level proved a major challenge with some personal and business hurdles that saw several attempts fall through but Holland persisted. It was early 2015 when she spotted an ad calling for business innovators for a new TV show. “I put in for it, they phoned me the next day – it turned out to be Shark Tank – and the process began,” she says.

In August Holland also appointed a general manager whose key role will be managing the manufacturing side of the operation freeing her to focus on what she loves best: research and development, and marketing her product.

“I have a range of other products I’d like to bring out under the Throat Scope banner,” says Holland. “And I’ll also be able to do a lot more on the sales and marketing side. I’m very excited about that.”