StartUp WV Success Story – The Floor Cam
Father-son duo Joe and Chris Ojeda are Logan County entrepreneurs who hope to make the device they invented a household name in the construction and the DIY world.
After a career in the mines as a welder and fabricator, Joe Ojeda developed a knack for coming up with solutions to building problems. So when he started putting in new hardwood floors, and the boards gapped, he figured out how to make a tool to close the gaps and join the boards perfectly.
That tool—first made out of wood—was the inspiration for the patent-pending product now known as The Floor Cam.
Joe’s son Chris explained how the product works by eliminating the gaps that occur during hardwood installation by straightening the bowed boards. “My dad used the same principle found in the technology of an engine’s cam design, which takes rotary motion and turns it into linear motion, providing an exponential amount of force,” Chris explained.
The product is unique in its simplicity. It’s small, lightweight, has no moving parts and is reversible, so it can be used upside down or right side up.
Chris Ojeda said they are producing two styles. “The Contractor-grade Floor Cam will be made out of rust-free aluminum and the DIY-grade Floor Cam will be made out of mold-injected ABS.
He added that it can be used in home renovations, historic preservation projects, or any hardwood job using new or older hardwoods. “The lower grade wood you are dealing with, the more bowing and gapping you will have, making The Floor Cam an extremely useful tool. Even on higher-grade select hardwoods, the Floor Cam comes in handy to achieve the perfect finished result,” he said.
As Joe and Chris Ojeda were developing The Floor Cam, they learned of TechConnect’s StartUp West Virginia Manufacturing Program, which helps inventors and small business people access the tools and expertise offered by the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) at Marshall University.
As part of the first class of StartUp West Virginia Manufacturing, the Ojedas worked with RCBI to develop the prototype for The Floor Cam. “The StartUp Program helped us through the initial phases of identifying the perfect medium for the device with the resources and tools at RCBI.
“We couldn’t have developed the various prototypes and made it through the initial phases without RCBI, and the StartUp program made that possible,” he said.
RCBI’s manufacturing experts helped the Ojedas design The Floor Cam with 3-D printing technology, and Chris said he expects their relationship with RCBI to continue.
The Ojedas are in talks with some tool distribution companies as well as local hardware retailers that are interested in stocking The Floor Cam. “For such a small group as my father and I, getting the capital necessary to manufacture the tools is our main focus right now,” Chris added.
The Ojedas plan to actively market through online sales, and have posted a YouTube video showing the simplicity of the device and ease of use. “We’re working on my home renovation company website – The Renovators – and from there, we’ll sell The Floor Cam exclusively online,” Chris said.
He can be reached via Facebook (Chris Ojeda or The Renovators) or for inquiries regarding The Floor Cam, by email at email@example.com.