Dr. Harold Hess tells us how Enduralock is the premier leader and fabricator of vibration resistant technology.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Enduralock.
Harold Hess: I practiced as a board-certified neurological surgeon for 30 years. In 2008 I co-founded a medical device company called Spinal Simplicity, which now has 5 FDA approvals and a CE mark. For the first FDA approval, the spinal implant was required to survive 5 million cycles of compression and 5 million cycles of torque without loosening, so I invented a locking mechanism for the implant. It eventually occurred to me that there could be numerous industrial applications for this locking technology outside of medicine. Hence, Enduralock was born in 2014.
How does Enduralock market its product/services online?
Harold Hess: We market our products through our website (www.enduralock.com) and our social media pages on LinkedIn and Twitter (@enduralock). Our National Aerospace Standards that we established for our products can be found on the IHS Markit Standards Store ( http://www.global.ihs.com).
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Harold Hess: We hire on an as-needed basis as new contracts/opportunities are presented. We are very intentional in who we choose to interview and ultimately hire, as we want to maintain the current level of cohesion amongst our team. We maintain an energizing, challenging, and fulfilling company identity that has proven to retain employees.
How are you funding your growth?
Harold Hess: We are about to close our Series A round, which consists mainly of individual angel investors. We have also been awarded 7 SBIR/STTR Air Force contracts for a total of $4.3M, which fund our core R&D initiatives.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Harold Hess: Our three main competitors are Howmet, Lisi Aerospace, and Precision Castparts. The three main technologies that compete with our products are safety wire, castle nuts and cotter pins, and permanent fasteners, such as the Huck Bolt by Howmet. While these companies are extremely well-established in the marketplace, they simply do not offer fastening solutions that provide all of the benefits of Enduralock fasteners. A major benefit is that Enduralock fasteners save time and money in installation and maintenance. A mechanic can safety-wire about 10 fasteners per hour. In that same period, over 300 Enduralock fasteners could be installed.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Harold Hess: In the past few years, we have fulfilled orders for companies such as Superior Energy, Procter & Gamble, and Bromma. Since August 2021, we have been awarded four Air Force SBIR Phase II contracts. In the two most recent SBIR contracts, we will be working directly with Whiteman Air Force Base, MacDill Air Force Base, and Dyess Air Force Base to qualify our products on the B-1 long-range bomber, B-2 stealth bomber, and the KC-135 aerial refueler to improve flight line maintenance time. We will also qualify our products for use in ground support equipment for these jets to improve reliability. We have been awarded a Space Force (Orbital Prime) Phase I STTR. We will be developing a multi-contact electrical and mechanical connector for the assembly of satellites on-orbit from modules.
Greatest Accomplishment in the Last Year?
Harold Hess: The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) ran a competition open to all companies (thousands) that had an SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) or an STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer). The goal was to choose 12 companies from various disciplines (not just Defense or Space) and showcase them: at America’s Seed Fund Startup Expo. We were selected for National Security and Defense to present our technologies and participate in a moderated panel!