Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center (NPDC) teams up with various entrepreneurs, inventors and manufacturers to provide engineering solutions that result in new products, optimized processes and business starts.
One example of this is their partnership with Okmulgee inventor Ron Goedecke, who started Bullet Fence Systems LLC.
Goedecke was raised on a dairy farm in Northeastern Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Agronomy. He worked with USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Services as a Soil Conservationists for 32 years and retired in 2015.
In 2014, Goedecke enrolled in the NPDC’s Inventor’s Assistance Service (IAS), a program sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology for his Fence Bullet concept, which would provide a no-weld pipe fence connection option for people living or working in areas where there is high-fire danger or where welding accessibility problems exist.
The IAS serves as the first point of contact for inventors across Oklahoma who are seeking assistance with preliminary market and patent research; engineering feasibility reviews; third party referrals to marketing assistance, SBDC services and manufacturers; and product design and prototyping.
At the time, there wasn’t an easy way to build pipe fence braces unless welding was involved. Welded braces are labor intensive, require special skills and expensive equipment causing welding to be costly in terms of both money and time. Fire bans often limit the ability to weld resulting in the delay of progress.
He realized at this point that there were no pipe connectors on the market for pipe sizes commonly used for braces. Having seen many people struggle with building welded braces, he knew it was more than just a problem. His concept of building a no-weld pipe connector went from a need, to an idea, to his Fence Bullet concept.
The NPDC’s business interns worked closely with Goedecke to analyze his product’s marketability and with NPDC engineering interns and IAS staff to finalize his product design.
The NPDC referred Goedecke to the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, both NPDC partners, which further assisted him with his commercialization endeavors.
On March 12th, The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Economic Development Council recognized NPDC and Ron Goedecke for their outstanding and successful partnership.
“I so appreciate the help that the New Product Development Center has given me,” said Ron Goedecke, owner of Bullet Fence Systems. “The marketing feedback and engineering assistance I received helped me get Fence Bullet to market faster and aided in the manufacturing process.”
Goedecke manufactures all of his products in Oklahoma and plans to expand his product line over the next several years. The Fence Bullet is currently selling in more than 30 stores in ten states.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled for Ron Goedecke and the success of his company, Bullet Fence Systems,” said Jessica Stewart, NPDC Assistant Director. “The best part about being involved with the NPDC is when we have the opportunity to assist an inventor with their product and business start. Witnessing inventors and their products successfully launch into the market is an incredibly satisfying feeling for us.”
The Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants. Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 in other financial support and receive a matching $500 State Regents’ Economic Development Grant.
Story by: Kristi Wheeler