GoPro Construction Company formed by Talan Products

September 23rd, 2008

Stepping up–How Steve Peplin took an innovative idea and turned it into a company

By Megan Tackett
Smart Business Akron/Canton | September 2008

Steve Peplin hopes that the squeaky stair will be a thing of the past. For the past 20 years, Peplin has led Talan Products Inc., but in the past year, he created a new, exciting joint venture with Canadian entrepreneur Eric Gobeil.

Gobeil created the Universal Stair Bracket, which makes constructing stairs more efficient and stable, and after Peplin saw its success in Canada, he wanted to not just manufacture the units, but he wanted to create a whole new organization, so with that, GoPro Construction Solutions was born.

It was a perfect match. Gobeil had the product, and Peplin had the experience and resources. As CEO, Peplin has watched Talan balloon to a $25 million metal stamping company, expanding 19 percent between 2005 and 2007, all during a time when the industry trend was to fold under economic pressure.

Now, the entrepreneurial duo will face those economic pressures head-on with their new joint venture. As a Talan affiliate, GoPro has the advantage of having experienced Talan executives as well as new sales and marketing talent to give the company a leg up in its infancy.

GoPro is the product of Peplin’s “intellectual capital,” a strategy he put in place at Talan to ensure that his company was growing from within and not relying solely on the successes of customers. Traditionally, metal stamping companies make parts to order, but Peplin’s vision took the company to another level.

By investing in intellectual capital, he outlined specific goals to develop a line of proprietary products manufactured by Talan and marketed directly or through partnerships.

Gobeil’s Universal Stair Bracket is the first product that GoPro will market, but Peplin says that it is certainly not the last.

“This is just the first of many innovative construction products we will be introducing,” he says.

His innovation is catching attention, and WIRE-Net President and Executive Director John Colm has said before, Talan is a “poster child for business unusual.”

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