Chile latest to seek youngster's fencing invention

ANNE BOSWELL
Last updated 05:00 08/08/2014
2014 Fieldays Young Inventor of the Year Patrick Roskam, 12.
Fairfax NZ
TOP FLIGHT: 2014 Fieldays Young Inventor of the Year Patrick Roskam, 12.

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Young inventor Patrick Roskam is on an upward trajectory of success following his acceptance of his latest award - Fieldays Young Inventor 2014.

Having sold 200 units of his clever fencing invention, the Gudgeon Pro, in his first month in business, while breaking even, 12-year-old Patrick is leaps and bounds ahead of his clever fellow entrants at the Fieldays Innovation Den.

"They were all asking for money for research and product development, but Patrick had already not only produced his first run of Gudgeon Pros but sold them," mum Angela Roskam says.

"There was a lot of pressure on him this year but he handled it so well."

So well that no-one was the wiser when the teen was whisked to the Fieldays sick bay to sleep off a nasty tummy bug directly after the Fieldays Innovations Awards breakfast, during which he won the Inventor of the Year award.

"My goal was to win the award so I was really happy," he said.

He then went on to pitch his idea to the Fieldays Innovation Den that afternoon. Although he didn't win any awards this year, in Angela's view he had already succeeded.

"To go from a prototype to a completed, sellable product in just 10 months was a huge achievement," she says. "And it was his first invention and oh yes, by the way, he's only 12."

Patrick and his Gudgeon Pro, which is used to quickly and accurately hang gates, had an amazing response from both the crowd at the Innovation Den as well as visitors to his Innovation Centre site. He sold 146 units at Fieldays with orders for plenty more piling in.

He has just received an order for 20 units from Chile, which he hopes to visit next year to check out the possible market opening for his product.

Patrick had a particularly fortuitous visit from a special visitor at Fieldays - SMX co-founder Jesse Ball - who has taken on a role as business mentor to Patrick, because he was so impressed with his attitude and perserverance.

Ball has helped Patrick set business goals and targets, and plans to help him draft his business plan ready for presentation to a number of rural stores, his next step.

Ball is just one more supportive person that Patrick has surrounded himself with in order to achieve his business goals.

Angela says Alpac, the Hamilton aluminium extrusion company that has produced the Gudgeon Pro, has also gone above and beyond to not only make the product but support and encourage Patrick's efforts.

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'We are so grateful for the Fieldays platform and that Patrick as a 12-year-old was taken seriously," Angela says.

Fieldays bought Gudgeon Pro 001, engraved especially, to put into the Fieldays Memorabilia cabinet.

The hubbub of Fieldays has died down and Patrick is back to school, a transition he admits was hard but which certainly doesn't show in his excellent marks.

-NZ Farmer

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