Innovate Washington announced Tuesday it is one of 10 winners of the Federal 'Make it in America Competition' and will receive nearly $2.7 million next year to help grow local business.
Businesses like Bob Hagarty's Randl Industries. For years Hagarty struggled with electrical boxes that were causing shorts, malfunctions and other problems. The industry needed something better.
"Ultimately, our request fell on deaf ears for the major electrical manufacturers," said Bob Hagarty President of Randl Industries.
Eventually he decided to make his own. In 1998 Randl Industries was born. The first five years were a struggle but eventually things started to catch on.
"The very first show we did in Vegas, our products were a hit," said Hagarty.
The newly designed boxes were a vast improvement from the old models. Randl Industries obtained patents and started developing the next generation telecommunication boxes. Today Randl Industries has multiple patents and manufactures more than 60 products.
"The problem with the newer cables is that they require a much larger bend radius," said Hagarty as he showcased one of his new telecommunication boxes.
Randl Industries was poised to break into the global market. and with help from Innovate Washington, former known as, SERTY, they did just that.
"From the licensing agreement from getting us lined up with Gonzaga University to assist us on automating some of our manufacturing process," said Hagarty.
Innovate Washington works with small and medium sized businesses in Washington, free of charge, that are in the technology or innovation field.
"That's how we chose who we're going to work with is companies committed to washington and make sure that Washington is working," said Innovate Washington CEO Kim Zentz.
Tuesday Innovate announced it won a federal grant from the 'Make it in America Competition' for nearly $2.7 million. Money used to emphasize home grown innovation and keep flowing into Washington.
"Around it's research universities around it's public and private research laboratories and really trying to turn those things into products that create companies and jobs for Washington," said Zentz.
Not to mention continue helping companies just like Randl Industries grow.
"We are actually now specified by half a dozen military bases around the country," said Hagarty.