A MALVERN inventor has scooped a double success in a major national business competition.
Malcolm Victory was named senior entrepreneur of the year 2012 and his invention the Rotaire Dryline won the award for best product of the year at the finals of the Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) Mr Victory, aged 61, of Malvern Wells, travelled down to the BT Centre in the City of London to attend the finals of the Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) and Sage One Accounts Senior Entrepreneur of the Year competition 2012.
Mr Victory created the Rotaire Dryline as a cheap and simple way to take the stress out of drying clothes outdoors without worrying about rain.
Thanks to its waterproof cover and the mesh skirt that traps rain being blown sideways, users can hang their washing out to dry whatever the weather is going to do.
Mr Victory had spent his life working in graphics and design but, like many others had not put money aside for his retirement. So he decided to take action, and came up with the Dryline. “It is currently the only viable product in this field and people keep asking me why it was not invented before.”
To make it a success, Mr Victory patented it in the UK, EU and US, and attended a course provided by PRIME, a charity set up by the Prince of Wales to encourage entrepreneurship in the over-50s.
He equipped himself with a business plan, marketing knowledge and an accountant and has already sold more than 5,000 units through his website rotaire.com. It was not all plain sailing, though. “After initial testing by 100 local volunteers, I had to go back to the drawing board because they kept taking off in the wind,” he said. “A year later I had a successful prototype and started production.”
Nick Bunting, chief executive of PRIME, said: “With Rotaire, Malcolm has shown how life experience can be a major advantage for someone over 50. Being successful in business takes knowledge, enthusiasm and experience. I hope that other over-50s can look to Malcolm’s example and be encouraged to set up their own businesses.”
And Mr Victory is not sitting on his laurels. He is in talks with a property development company to install the Dryline in housing association premises and new-build homes, and he intends to sell into the EU and US markets as cash flow increases.