A Surrey engineer’s ingenuity pays off, the engineer, who helped design the American embassy in Japan, has designed nearly 90 products, to hear about all of Andrew MacBain’s inventions, you need lots of time on your hands. “A whole slew,” as he puts it. The longtime Surrey resident’s latest creation, De-Fence, was featured on a “Dragons’ Den” episode on Wednesday night. And he scored, landing $50,000 for 50 per cent of his product.
De-Fence keeps animals and unwanted intruders off your property. The idea for the product came after years of clients asking him for a solution to those pesky raccoons and other critters.
You see, MacBain is known as the “pigeon guy.” His main business, Pigeon Patrol, was a venture he started almost by accident. He was running a company that did specialty work for restoration companies and somebody asked him to put up bird spikes.
“I had never dealt with bird spikes at all,” MacBain said. “I researched it and saw there was a need for it.” So he designed his own metal spikes, naturally, and it was a lower-cost alternative to a U.S. product on the market.
“So now I’m known as the pigeon guy,” he told the Now, smiling, listing off many of his corporate clients, such as ferry terminals, SkyTrain stations and Tim Hortons. “So we designed the spikes and that was the beginning.” Then, he found a problem.
“The guys used caulking to attach the spikes. Nobody had designed anything to screw into caulking.” So, of course, he went ahead and fixed that problem himself with a new product that could screw into the material. He sold thousands of units through Rona – until someone came in with a cheaper one, he said, shrugging it off.