GateHands Awarded Incubator Space
July 11th, 2017
GateHands Awarded PTC Incubator Space
Ponca City, OK --KB Enterprises, LLC is a manufacturing company owned and operated by the father and daughter team of Kelsey Wagner and Brad Fredrick. They were the winners of the Business Plan Competition and Pitch-Off with the Ponca City Development Authority (PCDA) and Pioneer Technology Center (PTC).
Their product during the competition was GateHands, which is 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,” said Kelsey Wagner. “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.”
After winning the competition, the new business was excited to move in the PTC Business Incubator. “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,” said Wagner. “It’s centrally located to our other vendors and dad can manufacture the product right from this space.”
GateHands were first created just after harvest on a family farm, back in June of 2014, in north central Oklahoma. Brad 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 ever prototype. Of course this wasn’t for profit, merely for necessity. Using his own welding skills and tools it took Fredrick a few different prototypes to master the design. Now six or so prototypes later, this team is attaining a patent and selling the latches online. GateHands is a family business as Fredrick enlisted the help of his daughter with sales and marketing while his son-in-law Jay Wagner has joined to assist as a part time shipping clerk. The team forms KB Enterprise and together they are working hard to bring GateHands to more farmers and ranchers around the country.
“When you drive down a rural highway, look around and you'll start to notice those sagging gates,” says Fredrick. “This is a great product, it’s literally the last gate latches you’ll ever own. It’s just simple operation. There’s no more messing with chains or clanking, loose gates.” GateHands gives gates a longer life by keeping them straight and makes getting in and out of the entrances less of a hassle.
Both 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,” remarked Fredrick. “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 have just been added to the product line up. They retail anywhere 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 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 their website www.pioneertech.edu.