GateHands awarded Pioneer Technology Center incubator space
Team Radio Marketing Group - July 11, 2017 9:43 am
After winning the Business Plan Competition and Pitch-Off with the Ponca City Development Authority and Pioneer Technology Center, KB Enterprises has moved in to the PTC Business Incubator.
KB Enterprises, LLC, is a manufacturing company owned and operated by the father and daughter team of Kelsey Wagner and Brad Fredrick.
Their product during the competition was GateHands, a patent-pending, innovative tube gate latch available in a variety of sizes and styles.
“Right now, our product is the only double tube gate latch available in three sizes on the market,” Wagner said. “Our target retail customers include cattle ranchers, construction companies, oil and natural gas companies and any farm owner with aluminum gates currently being held closed by chains or wire.”
Wagner said “it was just the right time for us to start into the incubator.”
“We had to go through some failures to get where we are. The incubator is a wonderful home for us,” she said. “It’s centrally located to our other vendors and dad can manufacture the product right from this space.”
GateHands were first created after harvest on a family farm in June of 2014, in north central Oklahoma. Fredrick, the inventor, was working on some fencing for a neighbor. The gates he worked on were large and heavy and he started to think about how there had to be a better way to hold the gates together.
Next, he went to his shop and did what any other farmer would do — he built his first prototype, out of necessity.
Using his welding skills and tools, it took Fredrick a few different prototypes to master the design. Now six or so designs later, this team is attaining a patent and selling the latches online.
GateHands is a family business, with Fredrick enlisting Wagner’s help with sales and marketing while his son-in-law Jay Wagner assists as a part time shipping clerk.
“When you drive down a rural highway, look around and you’ll start to notice those sagging gates,” Fredrick said. “This is a great product. It’s literally the last gate latch you’ll ever own. It’s just a simple operation. There’s no more messing with chains or clanking, loose gates.”
Wagner and Fredrick agreed that the process of becoming a business has been a lot of work,
“There’s so much we didn’t know and now being in the PTC incubator, the possibilities are endless,” Fredrick said. “The climate and nice area definitely has increased productivity, versus the shop I worked in at home in Lamont.”
GateHands fit on 1 5/8 inch tubes gates in all configurations; Single Gate, Side by Side and Overlapping. Additional sizes for 1 ¾ and 2 inch tubes have been added to the product line up. They retail from $50 to $60 each. Local farm and ranch store Brandt’s will begin selling this product in the future. The team has also been in communication with Atwoods and Tractor Supply, but these markets are challenging doors to open.
KB Enterprise LLC occupies D120, the manufacturing incubator space, in the Business and Industry Services building on Pioneer Tech’s campus.
“We’re are thrilled to have GateHands with us, and like for many of our past clients, we want to do everything we can to make them successful,” said Molly Kyler, Business & Industry Services Executive Director.
More information about this product can be found at www.gatehands.com. For more information about Pioneer Technology Center’s programs and initiatives, call (580) 762-8336 or visit www.pioneertech.edu.