The holiday season could soon be a little safer thanks to St. John’s-based LadderSpike.

Founded by Jordan Spencer and Dale Kean, the company has developed a footing system for ladders that drives spikes into the ground for improved stability.

The co-founders spoke with Entrevestor Wednesday from the cab of their work truck after filming a promotional video that highlighted their product’s usefulness for hanging Christmas lights.

“Our system will fit any portable fibreglass or aluminum ladder,” said Kean. “It levels, stabilizes and anchors the ladder in place.

“Basically it turns a portable ladder into a structural ladder.”

Chief executive Spencer launched the company in 2021 after working on oil and gas projects, where he witnessed the hazard ladders can pose in the workplace.

“In the trades, I worked right across North America,” said Spencer. “I worked in oil fields, I did some iron working and pipe fitting, and I was always forced to wait while five or six guys built a scaffold for me to do a simple job that I could do with a ladder.

“When COVID happened, the whole world shut down, so I lost my job. I went down to the shed, took my idea, and made a few first-iteration prototypes out of cardboard.”

Spencer tapped Newfoundland and Labrador startup hub Genesis for help launching the business, and Kean joined the company first as an investor, before later coming on board as chief operating officer.

The LadderSpike team is now in talks with several major North American ladder companies for licensing deals, as well as distributors. Spencer said the decision about which distribution model the company will rely on is yet to be made, but LadderSpike’s beachhead market will be the North American region as a whole, since most players in the industry operate across broad geographies.

Spencer and Kean hired their first employee earlier this year and plan to add another six or seven staff by next summer. They are preparing to ship their first 200 or so pre-orders in February or March, with another 5,000 scheduled for delivery by the end of spring.

They are also preparing for beta tests with several of the largest utilities and telecoms in North America, with enterprise sales as a likely second revenue stream.

Manufacturing will not be based exclusively in Newfoundland and Labrador, though the founders hope to maintain a significant presence in the province.

“Our ultimate dream is to have everything built and all of our packaging ready for market here within the province,” said Kean. “The reality is that Newfoundland does not have a large manufacturing base."

He added some products "require very large, extensive components, so those will most likely be outsourced.”

LadderSpike has been receiving guidance on tapping international markets through the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association and recently became one of three companies nationally to be accepted into the Canadian Construction Association’s CONtact Mentorship Program, which will see the founders pitch at the industry group’s annual conference in the Dominican Republic this March.

Spencer and Kean raised $150,000 of equity funding in May of last year, and once they deliver their pre-orders in the spring, they plan to raise another $1.5 million.