Industry INSIGHT

LadderSpike voted favourite innovation at CCA Annual Conference

Picture this: you’re perched atop a ladder, your hands occupied with tools, and your ladder’s feet planted on uncertain ground. It’s a scenario familiar to many, fraught with the ever-present risk of instability and injury. LadderSpike‘s flagship product is a patent-pending, all-in-one mechanical footing system designed and engineered to set up any wooden, fibreglass, or aluminum ladder on any ground terrain in just seconds, ensuring maximum safety.

Jordan Spencer, CEO of LadderSpike, was one of three innovators selected to participate in The Innovator’s Pitch session at this year’s CCA Annual Conference. The session gives three mentees selected from the CONtact mentorship program a chance to present their innovations to conference delegates and industry experts.

LadderSpike’s competitors included Correct-AI, an Edmonton-based industrial robotics and artificial intelligence company, with their PROX-EYE AI enhanced proximity detection system designed for industrial heavy equipment. As well as PurePave Technologies, an Ottawa-based business, with their innovative permeable paving surface material for use.

Siamak Akhlaghi

Jordan Spencer
Ladder Spike Inc.

After a Q&A series from a panel of industry experts, which included Isabelle Côté, CEO, Coffrages Synergy Formwork, Chris Gower, Deputy CEO, PCL Construction, and Andy Trewick, President and CEO, Graham, the audience voted Jordan Spencer and his company LadderSpike as the innovation they were most excited to see implemented in the industry.  

CCA followed up with Jordan after the conference to ask him about his innovation and his experience with the CONtact mentorship program.

CCA:  How did you come up with the idea for Ladderspike? Why this particular innovation?

LadderSpike was kind of born 27 years ago when I was just four years old. Starting with holding the bottom of the ladder for my grandfather, to later in life having to rely on family and neighbours to hold the bottom of my ladder while I was working around our house. This continued into my career, working across North America where ladder safety was preached every day. It was obviously an issue everywhere, both nationally and internationally.

My life experience helped me recognize the immediate need for innovation in the ladder industry. When you have an idea, you should go for it! I lost my job when COVID-19 happened, like many others. I took this as an opportunity and built my first cardboard prototype of a product I knew was needed.

I was always told, “OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) says to always set your ladder on a level and stable surface while being secured top and bottom to prevent accidental displacement.” In reality, the major problem is there is no tool in the world to do this, and since ladders are still the most commonly used piece of access equipment globally, employers end up resorting to cost-prohibitive alternatives like scaffold and manpower like spotters.

CCA: How did LadderSpike come to be?

In my head it was simple, but fast forward three years and 19 prototypes later, I most certainly would think differently.

I didn’t know my business partner Dale in the beginning. I had great industry experience, but I needed to think about this from a business perspective. I was introduced to a local tech business incubator called the Genesis Centre in St. John’s Newfoundland. Dale, originally from Newfoundland, had spent 30 years working in Ontario but  recently  moved home. He has always helped companies emerging from the Genesis Centre to become successful and bring prosperity back to Newfoundland. He decided to reach out to the Genesis Centre. In my first month and a half I was introduced to Dale. We have become best friends and have been working every day to make the world ladder injury-free!

Over the past three years, we have hit many milestones, including patents in North America, the European Union, and Australia. We raised $150k last year in private equity to finish the development of our product. We have partnered with some of North America’s most prominent utilities, telecommunications and construction companies to ensure our product is ready for everyone’s job sites! LadderSpike is currently accepting pre-orders and commercializing our flagship product.

Genesis is just one incubator we have joined. We strongly believe in the mentorship program. We also have many industry mentors from across North America who help us consistently. Every day, people get hurt on portable ladders and it’s time for a change. LadderSpike is revolutionizing how people access and work at heights! 

CCA: You participated in the CCA CONtact mentorship program and were chosen to pitch your solution to industry experts at CCA’s conference. How have these experiences helped you? Was there a particular piece of advice or question that really resonated with you? And how will this shape your work moving forward?

The entire experience from beginning to end has been phenomenal. The conference continues to leave an ever-lasting mark on our business, truly helping propel our business forward as we commercialize. It is one of the most pivotal times for our business and the whole experience has helped us grow! A great piece of advice we’ve heard from almost everyone was to keep up our passion, but don’t change our demeanour. It was evident that attendees resonated with our product and with our passion for truly helping people! 

CCA: Although you touched on this in your presentation at the annual conference, can you speak to the safety requirements and certifications that your innovation has?

Our flagship product, The Ladder Evolution-Pro, meets and exceeds the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for portable ladder accessories for any IAA, 375lbs wooden, fibreglass or aluminum ladders. 

ANSI regulates the industry standard, along with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), for ladders and ladder accessories in North America. I am currently a member of the CSA Committee for Portable Ladders in Canada, and a member of the ANSI Standards Committee for Portable Ladder Accessories in the US. Together, these committees govern all rules for ladders and ladder accessories across North America. That means our product has been built to exceed industry standards and can be used confidently on any 375 IAA ladder on any job site!

Safety is paramount on any job site, and we’ve been asked a lot about the liability of installing our system on their ladder. Right now, we are providing an easy-to-install, rugged template for precise drilling of holes in your ladder, to install without voiding warranty. It’s in our plan for the ladder manufacturers to sell their ladders with our brackets pre-installed at the factory for every new ladder you purchase. This is why we have been making key partnerships with some of North America’s top ladder manufacturers to ensure our product has been certified by them. We regularly meet with these manufacturers in person and together, our product will help keep people safe globally. 

CCA: What are the next steps for your company?

Since returning from the CCA Annual Conference in Punta Cana, things have been in full swing. Pre-orders, partnerships, networking, excitement! It’s all happening, and we don’t plan on slowing down.

We are currently preparing to start our final standards testing at the end of this month before putting our system out on the job sites of our national partners. This will also allow us to fulfill our first 200 pre-ordered units and send them to our customers. We plan to fulfill another 5000 pre-orders by summer and need help from the industry to reach this goal quickly.

We have key partnerships in place and by hitting these milestones we are confident to raise our next private equity funding round this summer to continue our success in completely revolutionizing how people work at heights.  

The story of LadderSpike is one of innovation, perseverance, and collaboration. From its humble beginnings to its recognition at the CCA Annual Conference, LadderSpike exemplifies the transformative power of entrepreneurship and the importance of addressing critical safety challenges in the workplace.

We would like to extend our thanks to all the mentees who competed at the conference. Their dedication and vision is shaping the future of the construction industry. We look forward to the 2025 CCA Annual Conference and the next round of CONtact mentee competitors.

The CONtact mentorship program, launched in 2018 by CCA in partnership with the National Research Council, helps innovators and entrepreneurs in construction to connect with industry experts. And, over the last four years, CCA, together with industry experts, have mentored over 30 mentees on their innovative solutions.

Become a CONtact mentor or mentee today!