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Spice of success for young Matamata inventor

A Waikato secondary school student and serial entrepreneur who invented a kitchen spice rack took home top honours at the Waikato – King Country Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme Awards last night.

Spice Mate, founded by Matamata College student Patrick Roskam, was named Wintec Company of the Year at the awards, managed in the region by Smart Waikato Trust.

Patrick is no stranger to entrepreneurial success – in 2013 at just 11-years-old he launched his invention the Gudgeon Pro, a tool used to successfully drill holes for gates, and he has since won multiple awards for entrepreneurship.

Now in Year 13, Patrick’s Spice Mate solution to a messy kitchen drawer caught the eye of award’s judges as a “practical concept, which can be used in conjunction with popular global plastics brands.”

Patrick will wing his way in Wellington for the YES National Finals on December 6th.

Other winners on the night were: Stafford Industries Runner Up - Think Bottle, Rototuna High School; Te Wananga o Aotearoa Third Place - Big Sis and Co, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls; Foster Construction Innovation Award - Hurban Oasis, St Peter’s of Cambridge and Spice Mate, of Matamata College; University of Waikato Leadership Award and CEO of the Year - Bianca Rayner, St Peter’s of Cambridge; EMA Waikato Excellence in Financial Management - Spice Mate; Waikato Business News Excellence in Communications - Big Sis n Co, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls; Waikato Chamber of Commerce Sales and Marketing Award - Think Bottle, Rototuna High School; Chamber of Commerce Commitment to Business Award - Jenna Beauty, Fairfield College and Gallagher Sustainability Award - Think Bottle (Rototuna High School).

More than 200 Year 12 and 13 students participating YES, managed by Smart Waikato Trust in the region, set up and operate their own businesses, creating, promoting, and selling a product or service, conducting market research, planning, budgeting, taking and managing risk and turning problems into challenges.

YES helps students develop knowledge in operating a small business, team building, relationship management, meeting procedures, record keeping, the legal requirements for running a business, and the process of reporting company performance. Its value is far-reaching, providing students with skills to equip them for life after school. The YES experience also adds depth to a resume when seeking employment.

All teams at the regional awards were standout performers in the YES competition throughout the year and pitched to a panel of judges.

YES Waikato co-ordinator Levinia Paku, of Smart Waikato Trust, said was is impressed with the calibre of this year’s entries, ranging from food delivery services in schools to customised temporary tattoos and mobile babysitting services to sustainable products.

“These awards are a reflection of the very talented young entrepreneurs we have here in Waikato. Teams are not only thinking outside the square to develop unique products, they are working hard to fulfil the requirements of running a successful business,” Levinia said.

YES is sponsored in Waikato by Wintec, Te Wananga o Aotearoa, the University of Waikato, Foster Construction, Waikato Chambers of Commerce, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, EMA Waikato, Waikato Business News and Stafford Industries.

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