September 8, 2007 3:28 pm

At 17 years old, Francisco Patino was a 2004 INPEX® exhibitor. As I walked the show floor that year, I remember admiring his maturity and passion for his invention. Given his amazing determination and drive, I was not at all surprised to discover that he made it to the final stages of the first season of “American Inventor.”

Here is an excerpt from a recent story detailing his experience:  There I was, in line for the castings of “American Inventor” Season 1. I had found out the day before of such a thing; I was a bit nervous but ready to show my product. This was more than a product to me – it was my toy, a tool to take my little brother to school. The “Double Traction Bicycle 2×2” and I had no idea of what was about to happen to us.  After the show premiered, I had my biggest surprise. At the mall, people did not look: they stared. I heard many people whispering, “Hey, that’s the bike kid…it’s Francisco.” Little kids would come up to me and ask for autographs, pictures, to say hello, and many said that they were proud of me. This was the biggest shock I had ever come across. People knew who I was and felt my passion across a TV screen. As we neared the end of the competition, it was now in the hands of America to vote for the winner. Unfortunately, it all came to an end. I was the first one eliminated, however not before Lance Armstrong and Trek Bicycle Corp. gave me a word of inspiration and an internship to work at their corporate headquarters. I had just gone through, by far, the highlight of my life. I was and will be forever grateful for such an opportunity. Francisco and his bike stole our hearts, so much so that we have hired him as a goodwill ambassador for INPEX® and InventHelp. Be sure to check back for updates on Francisco!

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