After State College-based Scientific Systems was acquired by Teledyne, employee Scott Breindel found himself reconsidering his future goals. After taking a year off to travel and spend time with family, Scott and his wife decided they would start their own venture along with a former co-worker from Scientific Systems, Jim Ellenberger and his wife Shelly. The four decided to open a precision manufacturing company that would specialize in multi-axis CNC machining of titanium, stainless, and high-performance plastic parts.
With Scott’s 20+ years of experience in the industry, Terri’s experience as business owner, Jim with 25+ years of machining and CNC experience, and Shelly’s 20+ years in finance, the four were well-suited to establish a new business. The group sat down, made a plan, and started to get the process moving
In October 2020, Deadluck Manufacturing was formed. But even though their name references getting out of a bad situation before it gets worse, launching a business during a pandemic proved to be no easy feat. The financing process, which had previously taken Terri 2-3 months, took significantly longer when the owners were unable to meet with financial institutions face to face. Additionally, construction on their 4,000 square-foot facility was pushed back due to contractor availability, supply chain shortages, and engineering issues. “Every aspect was a little challenging,” says Scott.
At that time, Terri and Scott reached out to the Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC), who has supported Terri in previous childcare and home health care ventures, and the Saint Francis SBDC. Penn State Business Consultant John Peterson helped the owners with their business plan, market research, and creating a financial proforma that included projections. Peterson also introduced them to local contacts, including the Altoona Business Development Center (ABDC), who awarded Deadluck a Startup Alleghenies Small Step-up Grant in November 2021, and the Innovative Manufacturer’s Center (IMC) in Williamsport PA.
The PASBDC network also supported the Deadluck team through educational programming. After taking a WordPress website development course and Quickbooks accounting course through the Clarion SBDC, the group was ready to launch their website and operations.
And while the opening date was ultimately pushed back, Deadluck was granted occupancy of their new facility in March 2022 and were able to begin making parts for local businesses.
“It’s been wonderful going through the business plan review process, being introduced to contracts, and having training available,” says Terri. “We are excited to continue to work with the SBDC.”
As they start their business, Deadluck continues to establish contacts in chromatography business and conduct business development work with other Tyrone area businesses. The team’s immediate focus is to purchase new equipment hire by the end of the year.