Young inventor wins patent
Most 11-year-old boys spend their free time playing video games or messing about on their scooters. Patrick Roskam is not one of them.
A young inventor, Patrick has been awarded his first patent and is in the process of setting up his own company.
His invention is the Gudgeon Pro 4 in 1 - a fencing tool used to quickly and accurately hang gates.
It works as a drill guide, marking out precise measurements for gudgeon placement, without the use of a measuring tape.
It can also be used as a leveller, has five and seven wire markings for wire placement and is batten height, so can be used as a measure for post ramming.
Patrick first came up with the idea when his dad moved farms and was setting up a new race.
"We were going to change the width of all the races so we had to take all the gates off and re-measure where to put all the gudgeons," Patrick said. "We thought there must be an easier way of doing it."
After a huge amount of research, many trials and consultation with fencing contractors and farmers, the Matamata Intermediate student came up with a prototype.
"I thought I would give it a go and if it failed I would give it to my dad and he would use it. But it didn't fail, it was a huge success."
Hamilton firm James and Wells Intellectual Property helped Patrick to secure a patent on the Gudgeon Pro and he was considering selling the design to Gallaghers.
That was until DairyNZ industry education facilitator Bill Barwood saw his invention at the East Waikato Science Fair and told him it had huge potential.
"He told me: 'This is going to earn someone a lot of money, you should sell it yourself."'
And that is exactly what he is going to do.
As well as finishing his school year, Patrick is receiving quotes from manufacturers in China, setting up meetings with banks and seeking advice from Business Mentors New Zealand.
When asked who will be chief executive officer of his company, the year 7 student grins and points to himself.
"My mates want to know if they can have shares."
Fencing contractor Nick Evans helped to trial the Gudgeon Pro and said it would make his job a lot easier.
"It's a great invention - he's an onto-it young fella. It's good to see young kids out there breaking the bell and going the extra distance."
Mr Evans said he would be one of the first customers lining up when the product hits the shelf.
Patrick has had a lot of support and would like to thank Mr Evans, Bill Barwood, Allenco Marine, Allen Cossill, Mike Morgan from RD1, James and Wells and his mum and dad.