Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Showcase in Broken Arrow Lets Tech Companies Shine

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Showcase in Broken Arrow Lets Tech Companies Shine

Article excerpt

Tactical Electronics announced on Friday that within the next two years it will expand into a new facility that is five times the size of its current one.

Ben Kimbro, executive vice president of Broken Arrow-based Tactical Electronics, announced the plan before an audience of 200 people during the Oklahoma Technology Showcase on Friday.

"I will not make the prediction like I did before of saying we will never outgrow the facility," Kimbro said to laughter. "We will remain in Broken Arrow."

The showcase, a statewide event held in Broken Arrow for the first time, featured Tactical Electronics and nine other innovative companies at the Northeastern State University campus.

In addition, more than 50 vendors and 250 attendees were registered, said Kinnee M. Tilly, senior vice president of economic development for the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.

"Our goal is to give attention to these 10 high-tech companies and offer them the opportunity to talk about their products," Tilly said.

The conference would have been larger, but registration was limited to 250, Tilly said.

"We might have had more than 300," Tilly said.

During a 10-minute presentation, Kimbro said the 15-year-old research and development and manufacturing company focuses on wireless camera systems. The company, which employs 70, designs tactical camera systems, bomb disposal equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles.

"Our mission is to protect those who protect us," Kimbro said. "We help the good people do bad things to bad people."

The equipment allows people to see inside rooms or tight spaces before placing their head or body inside, Kimbro said.

Beyond law enforcement and military application, TE plans to expand into the oil, gas, agriculture and medical industries.

"We are able to place sensors where you do not want to stick your head," Kimbro said.

The company thrives on design challenges, he said. The U.S. Navy came to TE 11 years ago and wanted the company to develop a camera that could be attached to dogs.

"Camera on canines - a positively ridiculous idea - which is right up our alley," Kimbro said. "We often go for the left-field solution, things that have not been done before, not tried before. …

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