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.
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