Tariki teen Ayla Hutchinson has won the 2013 New Zealand Innovators Award for the ‘Most Inspiring Individual'.
Ayla, 14, invented the kindling cracker, a device that removes the risk of chopping fingers while chopping wood.
Mum Claire said Ayla won a crystal trophy, a write-up in the Idealog magazine and will get more media exposure over the next month. The award is one of a number Ayla has received since she invented the kindling cracker for a school science project last year.
The first 200 kindling crackers have been produced and sent to customers and more orders are coming in every day, Mrs Hutchinson said.
"It has shown her what the process is when you start with an idea right through to getting it out there to people and making a profit. Though she has a lot of outlays coming up so she's not seeing a lot of profit yet."
Ayla's goal is to earn enough so she won't need a student loan when she goes to university.
"The way she's going she'll be fine. She might pay for her sister as well."
Ayla was presented with her award at an event last week at the Auckland Museum, where she rubbed shoulders with representatives from other big-name prizewinners such as Fonterra, Vector and Plant and Food Research.
Ayla is also up for two awards in the Buy New Zealand Made People's Choice awards.
She's a finalist in the best new product category along with Wattie's, Whittaker's and Griffin's.
And in the most innovative product category Ayla is competing against Tip-Top, Whittaker's and Hebe Natural Kids Furniture.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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