Springhill student looks for clean sweep

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SPRINGHILL – A Fredericton team of students vying for $100,000 in equity financing has a Springhill connection.

Stephen Likely, a graduate of Springhill High School, now a third-year chemical engineering at the University of New Brunswick, and his ‘Black Magic’ team are one-of five finalist teams in the Breakthru competition run by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation [NBIF].

Along with teammates Garrett Nelson of Windsor, N.S. and Greg Bailey of Gander, NL, the trio feel they have a business plan that will clean up the competition and take away the prize, which also includes another $92,000 in in-kind services, like legal services and branding.

“Our product is Black Magic, an industrial strength hand cleaner. If you've ever worked with cars or paint or just got your hands dirty, you know how stubborn anything oil based is. We use them in almost everything in our lives for this reason, but it makes them difficult to work with,” Likely said. “Oil based paints, grease, tar, etc. are all incredibly difficult to get off your hands and the products that are out there… all basically work the same way, using a soap with pumice to scrub the grime off your hands, leaving them dry and irritated.”

What makes Black Magic standout, Likely said, is its non-toxic biodegradable degreaser used to clean the skin combined with its special detergent to wipe it all away.

“The process takes no more effort than washing your hands, and even contains natural moisturizers,” Likely said. “We've had really great feedback from everyone we've demoed it to, and have several companies that want to buy our product as soon as we start manufacturing.”

On Friday, Likely and his team pitched Black Magic to the of NBIF's selection committee, but another important aspect of the competition is the Viewer's Choice award. Winner of the Viewer's Choice award will receive a trip to Toronto to present their business on the program Dragon's Den. Voting is online at http://www.cbc.ca/nb/features/breakthru/.

Organizations: New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, Springhill High School, University of New Brunswick

Geographic location: Fredericton, Windsor, Toronto

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