The conversation 16-year-old Deloraine High School student Jayden Lee had with his patent attorney last November is one that has become pretty familiar to him.
They discussed Jayden’s new invention, Fast Way Fencing Tie Offs, and put the wheels in motion to patent the product before sales began. Then, the lawyer asked Jayden what he did for work.
“I was with my Nan and she said, ‘you better tell him,’” said Jayden. “I said, ‘I still go to school,’ and he said, ‘uni or college?’ I said, ‘no, I’m in high school.’
“He said I’m the youngest client he’s ever seen.”
Jayden was just 15 years old when he developed the Fast Way Fencing Tie Off, a pre-tied fencing knot on a metre-long piece of wire that can be fed through and connected to a wire joiner.
The invention eliminates the need to hand-tie every piece of wire to a post. It halves fencing time, dramatically reduces cuts and bruises that come from hand-tying wire, and has already proved a hit with Deloraine’s fencing contractors. An Australian factory has began manufacturing the tie offs, and Jayden hopes to soon sell them Australia-wide.
And all while still going to school.
“It’s been very hard trying to keep my school work up,” he said. “I’ve been trying to cart them around on the bus, and there’s a lot of emails and phone calls that you can’t answer in class.
“It’s hard because companies are quite demanding, they want to know something there and then and you can’t give an answer til after school or lunch break - and then through lunch break calling people is a nightmare because you’ve got background noise everywhere.”
Challenges notwithstanding, Jayden is well on his way to building a successful business. With a bit of help from his family, driving him to appointments across Tasmania and accompanying him to Melbourne for meetings, Jayden is hoping to take Fast Way Fencing Tie Offs international.
The idea had simple origins. Jayden’s family recently bought a new farm in Sheffield, and with that came a lot of fencing work for Jayden and his brother. Sick of spending hours scratching his hands tying each piece of wire, he took himself off to the shed and began trying to find an easier way.
“It took a lot of sleepless night trying to figure it out,” he said.
“How am I going to put that bend in there, how am I going to do this, how am I going to do that? But after, I’d say, about a week, I had it pretty down pat.”
Deloraine High School Principal at the time, Lee Barker, said Jayden was a role model.
“He’s a great thinker and a great student,” she said. “He’s used a problem solving approach, using maths and science and technology, and seen a need in the agriculture industry and put it all together to create a time saving device.”
Jayden is selling the tie offs for $1.45 each or $14.50 for a bundle of ten, and right now he’s selling about five bundles a week. Marketing is being done by fellow Deloraine High School student Aimee Viney, along with a year eight IT class.