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

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

6 things to know about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces announced

News
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OBM-100-best-Green-logo-2015-1000pxwBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.


Read more...

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...

Destination Resorts 2.0

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.


Read more...

The Green Paradox

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY EMILY LIEDEL

Inside the topsy-turvy world of corporate sustainability rankings.


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