Facing Fieldays' dragons

Last updated 09:19 04/06/2014
Patrick Roskam
PETER DRURY/Fairfax NZ

SHORTLISTED: Matamata inventor Patrick Roskam, 13, with mum Angela, brother Edward, 11, and sister Victoria, 5, work together on the production line of his fencing tool.

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Matamata teenage inventor Patrick Roskam and his family are going "flat stick" in preparation for the 2014 Fieldays, his mum Angela says.

The 13-year-old, who invented the gate tool called the Gudgeon Pro 5 in 1, is one of 20 innovators who has been shortlisted to take part in the 2014 Fieldays Innovation Den.

Patrick pitched the idea for the fencing tool, which is used to quickly and accurately hang gates, to judges - including Sir William Gallagher - at last year's Fieldays den.

Before he re-enters the den, he has to attend a two-day business course.

From there 8 inventors will go on to pitch to investors in a Dragon's Den style platform, which is bit different from last year as 12 went through then, she said.

"I feel a bit sorry for him as there is a lot of pressure on him and he puts a lot of pressure on himself; he wants to win the young inventor of the year award [at Fieldays]."

At the Fieldays he will sell his invention to farmers and has had to buy business shirts and banners for his site.

Angela said his ability to balance all the work his invention has created with his school work and sports amazes her.

He recently ended up in A&E after taking a hockey ball to the knee but he still managed to set his alarm to be up at 6am to do his homework.

"I just try to keep him happy and healthy; keep him from getting a cold or injured; keep him from getting any more hockey balls to the knee."

He also launched the website gudgeonpro.co.nz recently and maintains the Gudgeon Pro Facebook page.

Angela said her son learned so much since the last Fieldays about business, legal requirements and manufacturing.

What he wants to get out of meeting the dragons - if he gets through to that round - is some investment, as the family has funded everything so far. Patrick also wants to find people to directly sell and distribute the product.

He has had international interest in the product as there is nothing like it in the world.

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- Waikato Times

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