MONROE – Kim Harcelrode applied for the 53 Ideas Pitch Competition last year and did not make it past the first round.
This year, she entered and won second place and $5,000 in the competition led by South Piedmont Community College with her No Mess SPF.
“I attended all of the webinars and found a ton of value in asking questions and looking at things from scratch,” Harcelrode said.
Getting to this point took hard work and dedication.
“You reach out, call people, and you get a lot of noes,” Harcelrode explained. “There are a million reasons to give up, but I have to remind myself why I’m doing this.”
The reason for her is personal.
Both Harcelrode and her dad have struggled with skin cancer their whole adult lives. After doing some research, she found out that human error and lack of application of sunscreen is the culprit
Harcelrode wanted to create a system that could guarantee good coverage.
Working with an engineer friend, Harcelrode developed a tower for adults and kids that houses three height adjustable nozzles to spray sunscreen from the neck down.
Harcelrode is partnering with five local community pools to place her No Mess SPF. The large device will serve as a visual reminder to use sunscreen as visitors enter the pool area. According to her, users will not need help to cover those hard-to-reach spots, because the machine will do it for them.
Harcelrode is continuing to tweak her device and is looking to partner with a sunscreen company that uses natural ingredients.
Part of her goals will also be to educate people about the risk of sun damage and the importance of sunscreen.