When Terry Sandefur left the corporate world, he realized he wanted sell his inventions.
“I have always drawn and made these little inventions,” he said.
The Zaparataz, a motorized trimmer, was born after he heard about the need for a better harvesting tool to protect users from repetitive motion injuries.
He designed every part of his trimmer, which features adjustable speeds, lights to illuminate its path and removable and rotatable heads.
Sandefur was one of a handful of local founders to pitch investors Thursday at Fort Lewis College at the Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs showcase. The SCAPE is an intensive six-month program that provides $30,000 in seed funding and mentorship in the areas of product development, marketing and finance.
It’s advice Sandefur appreciates.
“You think you know how to start a business, run a business, until you get here,” he said.
In three years, the program has launched 15 companies that have gone on to created 40 new jobs, SCAPE Director Elizabeth Marsh said in an email.
As president and CEO of Zaparataz Products Inc. Sandefur expects do some hiring when he opens a plant in Bayfield. By his fifth year he projects that he’ll have 30 employees.
“I believe in manufacturing in the U.S.” he said.
The company is prototyping and it has a patent pending. Sandefur expects to start selling the Zaparataz in June for $499 and he has an interested wholesaler.
While harvesting is likely the first market for the Zaparataz, he expects it will be useful for those in the sewing and textile industries as well.
Once the plant is running, he expects to make complementary products.