Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) first worked with Stephen McCormick in June 2012, and has helped Petromac make business connections and secure two Callaghan Innovation grants of about $100,000 each.
Fellow director Michael Oliver and Maui Capital managing director Paul Chrystall have also invested in the company.
Paul Robinson, ATEED’s local economic growth manager, says Steve had many years of experience in well drilling and realised if he developed a device that accurately mapped the data in wellholes with a greater than 55 degree deviation, then he had the potential to save drilling companies vast sums of money.
Stephen spent countless hours experimenting and developing the taxi tool and guide, including lately modifying the wheel bearings.
He first tried making the tools in plastic and glass reinforced nylon before finally resorting to machine-made 6mm thick aluminium and carbon fibre/Kevlar. Petromac’s first commercial production occurred in April 2014.
Stephen says he was grateful for the financial help provided by ATEED and Callaghan. “All the research and development and cost can be taxing on your motivation, and the first grant came at an opportune time.
“It wasn’t that the product didn’t work – it works extremely well - but it can be trying for one person to do it all.’’
Stephen kept going to plug a gap in the market. “The wireline services companies make fantastic (surveying) equipment but I was always annoyed that the accessories were lacking.
“I sat down with a blank piece of paper and the idea to make a few gadgets. It just grew and morphed into the Tool Taxi and Guide,” he says.