Climbing the startup ladder

| Print |  Email
Articles - July/August 2012
Monday, July 09, 2012

 

BY JON BELL

0712 GamePlan LadderTite 01
Ladder-Tite is a pair of brackets that attach to extension ladders securing them to gutters.
// Photo by Sierra Breshears

Ron Gandy and his son, Justin, were well into the development of their ladder-safety device, Ladder-Tite, in 2011 when Justin unexpectedly passed away at age 21. The loss nearly derailed the entire endeavor.

“It really took all the wind out of my sails,” says Gandy, a retired air traffic controller who restarted a roofing business in 2008 as a summer gig for his son. “It was extremely hard to get going again.”

After a few months, however, Gandy and his wife, Carrie, decided that to continue on would honor their son. They refocused, won $7,500 in mentoring, office space and startup cash at the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Conference in April and are now forging ahead as Rogue Valley Innovations in Grants Pass.

Their first product, Ladder-Tite, is a pair of simple aluminum brackets that attach to extension ladders and secure them to gutters or fascia boards. Gandy says the idea arose when the state required a ladder-safety program for the roofing company.

“We thought, OK, let’s do something really right,” he says.

A little research found few other devices as simple and as inexpensive as what Gandy had in mind. A little more revealed that tens of thousands of people are injured every year in ladder accidents; close to 164,000 emergency room injuries every year are related to ladders, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“There’s really a call for this kind of product,” Gandy says.

So far RVI has produced 1,000 Ladder-Tites, which are available online or at stores near Grants Pass for $29.95. Even though Gandy could have the device produced cheaper in China, he chose to keep the work closer to home. A nearby shop bends the metal, and Gandy and his wife assemble and package the units.

Although he’s not looking to expand too rapidly, Gandy says he is developing new regional markets. He’s approached Home Depot, and a national roofing company has approached RVI to develop a similar device for commercial and industrial buildings.

“We’re not looking for investors right now,” Gandy says, “but maybe down the road.”

 

More Articles

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Loose Talk

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

When gossip crosses the line.


Read more...

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


Read more...

Reader Input: Fair Play

May 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.


Read more...

The Backstory: Portland Youth Builders

The Latest
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
blog002 1BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward  housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.


Read more...

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS