Ajuma aims to use a turtle-shaped gadget to minimize the risk of kids getting sunburn. The wearable, which can be attached to clothes or a sunhat, measures solar radiation and sends a warning to parents’ smartphones before it’s too late. The startup has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
We are Annette and Julian, and our aim is to prevent sunburn! Julian has a doctorate in physics and atmospheric research. Annette has an MBA and has worked as a product and innovation manager in the industry for quite some time. Annette is very sensitive to sunlight, and, after our daughter was born, we came up with the idea to develop the UV-Bodyguard.
Our goal is to measure a healthy UV dose, prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer in the long term. The UV-Bodyguard is a wearable that, together with an app, measures the UV dose and sends a warning to let you know when it’s time to get out of the sun.
2. But that’s nothing out of the box!
Individual measurement of the UV index or UV intensity already exists. However, a device that continually measures UV exposure and forecasts the amount of time you can stay in the sun does not yet exist. Our UV-Bodyguard was specifically developed and designed for children. It looks like a little turtle and was tested in accordance with the Toy Safety Directive to make sure it’s safe, even for the youngest kids.
Preventing sunburn with Ajuma
But why does it make sense to measure UV exposure at all? There are many reasons: Without protection, children can only be in the sun for 5-10 minutes. With SPF 30 sunscreen, small children should only be in the sun for a maximum of 2.5 hours and just over 4 hours when using SPF 50 sunscreen. It’s important to know that reapplying sunscreen doesn’t extend these time periods. Even when it’s cloudy or we’re in the shade, our skin still absorbs up to 90% of the UV radiation. Sunburn is one consequence – and so is an increased risk of skin cancer. Just three incidences of sunburn as a child can increase the risk of skin cancer three to five fold. That’s why it makes sense to keep an eye on the situation and react before it’s too late and a lot of sun becomes too much sun.
3. What are the three main ingredients in your recipe for success?
We’re a good team that can really get obsessed with details, and we don’t give up easily. And sometimes having a good sense of humor is really important!
Kickstarter campaign in progress
4. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: How is business going?
We don’t officially exist yet – but will soon: On July 3rd, 2019, we started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. That’s where we’re presenting our UV-Bodyguard to the public for the first time and people can pre-order our UV-Bodyguard (delivery in early spring in March 2020) or support us with a donation.
5. What does Munich mean to you?
Annette is a Munich native and we love the mountains and lakes in the area near Munich. Ajuma was accepted early this year to the startup incubator program at the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship, which makes us very proud.
6. How will your startup become the next unicorn? Or will we be seeing you at an Epic Fail Night soon?
The health and protection of small children who are not yet able to protect themselves is really an important subject for all of us. Especially during the summer while out doing sports or in the mountains. And, as the ozone layer thins, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure good sun protection. This is something society is becoming more aware of and is exactly where we can and really want to help!
7. Hiking or beer garden?
Obviously, it’s best to combine the two. We like to be outdoors walking, cycling or in a rowboat. We used to be alone, but are now with families and all our gear.