With his creation of The Wylie Post, Wylie Rogers, along with his partner John Miller, won the Alaska College Student Kicker Prize at the 2014 Arctic Innovation Competition. The Wylie Post modernizes the hockey net peg by making it safer and more efficient to anchor hockey nets to the ice.
Focus on Safety
The Wylie Post was created to help make playing hockey safer for all players. Many aspects of hockey have benefited from advances in technology, but not the net peg. The old steel pegs do not hold the net sturdily enough, allowing teams to lose control of the net or causing players to receive unnecessary injuries from running into the net. Rogers witnessed these problems firsthand during his college hockey career with the UAF Alaska Nanooks, and invented The Wylie Post to create a more stable net for a safer game.
Support Leads to Success
When The Wylie Post was first created, Rogers admits that he was often unsure what he should to do next in order to make his innovation successful. He explained that he could have avoided many obstacles throughout this process if he had known someone who had previously gone through similar situations. With support from his mentors – Dr. Ping Lan, AIC director and professor of business administration at the UAF School of Management, and Ky Holland, assistant professor of business administration management at Alaska Pacific University – who helped guide Rogers to his next steps, The Wylie Post finally began achieving its full potential. Rogers stated, “Ping was like my Miyagi, he tells you just enough and then makes you figure out the rest.” Rogers further shared that Holland was instrumental during the process of engineering the pegs through the prototyping stages and into a market-ready product.
Mentorship – Paying it Forward
Thanks to the success of The Wylie Post, Rogers has found himself mentoring fellow innovators. He has learned a lot from the process of creating and marketing his own product, and now he shares these learning experiences with other innovators who may be facing similar issues. Without his own mentors helping him throughout its creation, he firmly believes The Wylie Post would not be where it is today.
Into the Future
Rogers hopes to see The Wylie Post receive a stamp of approval as the safest hockey net peg on the market; he looks forward to a day when hockey teams will be required to use The Wylie Post to protect their players from injuries caused by unstable nets. Rogers’ ultimate dream is to be able to go into any rink anywhere and find his product in full use.
Words of Wisdom for AIC Competitors
Rogers would like competitors to know that they should never be afraid to ask someone for help. He explained how he would constantly call his mentors for help and absorb the information they were giving him like a sponge. He believes competitors should understand that it’s fine if they don’t know everything, and that asking for help always works in their favor. Rogers shared these final words of wisdom for AIC competitors – “Surround yourself with good people and good things are bound to happen.”
Hear Rogers share his stories and experiences in person at this year’s AIC Final Competition on Saturday, October 22, 2016!
View a video taken during an interview with Rogers on July 20, 2016.