local company FlexScreen featured on ‘Shark Tank’ | Local News

Being able to twist and fold a screen into place without damaging it – that’s the secret of FlexScreen, a locally made product featured this week on the popular “Shark Tank” TV show.

Joe Altieri, inventor and president of FlexScreen, which is based in Pittsburgh, Pa. With four manufacturing sites in the United States, including one in Vermillion, appeared on the Jan. 5 episode of the hit show ABC- TV. South Dakota plant manager Ken Karolevitz said the apparition went very well and was amazing to watch.

“What you see when the show airs is only a fraction of what actually happens in The Tank,” said Altieri, who traveled to Los Angeles last June to film the segment. “My pitch was one of the longest in Shark Tank history. Filming my segment took over two and a half hours, and I understand that a single pitch has never lasted longer. The show did a great job capturing the most important things that were said, as well as the back and forth between the three sharks vying for a piece of FlexScreen.

“In the end, Lori Greiner, proclaimed ‘QVC Queen’ got the better of Sharks Kevin O’Leary and Barbara Corcoran. We were very happy with this result because right from the start of this whole experience, Lori was the shark we hoped we could bite! he said.

Vermillion’s FlexScreen factory employs 14 people and manufactures the patented screens, which are touted as “the world’s first and only flexible screen”.

“Window screen technology – and all the issues that come with it – has basically remained the same for over 100 years,” said Altieri. “Traditional mosquito nets are extremely difficult to install and remove. The FlexScreens snap into place in seconds and removal is just as easy. Our sleek and flexible frame hides in the screen pocket, making our product beautifully invisible, eliminating the need for color matching and allowing for a better view outward.

“You could smash our screen with a car and even throw it off a five-story building, without damaging it. We hold several patents on our flex technology, which makes us not only the first in the world, but also the only flexible mosquito net in the world. FlexScreen is an industry disruptor, ”he said.

Altieri created the patented screen in his garage workshop.

“After more than 20 years in the window industry, I have recognized the problems inherent in traditional screens and have personally dealt with the constant frustrations of customers: bent aluminum frames, scratched paint and complicated hardware, so as not to. name a few, ”he said. “I knew there had to be a better way, so I moved into my garage and got to work. After years of trial and error, I emerged with my prototype that contained no aluminum, paint, or hardware. FlexScreen virtually eliminates the hassle people hate about their traditional displays.

The South Dakota FlexScreen factory started in Vermillion three years ago after Karolevitz and a friend heard about the screens and decided to check them out.

“After visiting the Flexscreen plant in Pittsburgh and meeting Joe, we were convinced this was something we had to do,” said Karolevitz. “We made our first screen at Vermillion in May 2017.… We made an average of about 500 screens per day last year. We can do about 1,000 per shift and have commitments for 2020 that will take us over 1,500 per day. “

Altieri has traveled to South Dakota on numerous occasions to visit the Vermillion operation. He expects the operation to expand further in the future as his product gains recognition.

“Since its market introduction, FlexScreen has gained international attention, has sold millions and has been featured on Shark Tank and HGTV. We have won numerous awards, including the Crystal Achievement Award from Window and Door magazine – the most innovative window product, and the Reader’s Choice award from Door and Window Market magazine – the favorite window product three years in a row, ”said he declared. “A paradigm shifting product, FlexScreen is revolutionizing the window industry. “

Learn more about FlexScreen South Dakota by visiting FlexscreenSD.com. Discover Altieri’s weekly podcast “Dare To Be Different”, on joealtieri.com.

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Gladys T. Hensley

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