Joseph “Kelly” Moore (00) knew he wanted to have a career in business when he graduated from Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance. With his current entrepreneurial endeavor, he is in the business of potentially saving lives.
Moore and Matt Able are co-founders of the Lexington-based company Longtail Designs LLC. They recently announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for the Rescue Biner, the company’s first product.
The Rescue Biner is an aluminum carabiner that features additional tools to use in a life-saving emergency for first responders or victims of an automobile accident. These include a concealed razor blade for slicing through seatbelts and a tungsten carbide tip capable of easily breaking out vehicle windows.
Before going into business for himself, he found a knack for business at MSU. Moore and his family moved to Morehead from Kemmerer, Wyoming, in the summer of 1994, and he enrolled in the spring of 1995. After graduation he worked for two decades in finance as a federal employee. He has been a financial officer for the United States Air Force primarily based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and also has analyzed and overseen budgets for the U.S. Forest Service, first in Fort Collins, Colorado, before returning to Kentucky as a budget officer for the Daniel Boone National Forest from 2010 to 2018.
When he was a student at MSU, Moore said he enjoyed the fact that MSU was in the Daniel Boone National Forest, but it was the small classes and the personal attention he received from faculty that was most beneficial to his future.
“My financial and accounting courses laid the foundation for me to learn cost modeling, financial and data analysis, and teamwork,” he said. “I’m a solution-driven person and the positive feedback and support I received while attending MSU really helped craft my business acumen as I started my professional career.”
The idea for the Rescue Biner came about before founding Longtail Designs in 2016. Moore met Able when he started working for the Daniel Boone National Forest in Winchester and they both developed backgrounds as wilderness first responders. This led to them bouncing ideas back and forth and seeing a need for something useful when there an accident occurs and seconds matter.
“The design evolved from an article I had read where a person had used scissors to cut an accident victim out of a vehicle seat belt. I don’t carry scissors in my vehicle. Most don’t,” Moore said. “So, when Matt Able and I sat down, we really had a moment of clarity and the Rescue Biner was born.”
Moore said the company had planned to launch its current Kickstarter campaign a couple of years ago for their patented product. They chose crowdfunding both due to the company’s tight budget and wanting to use its primary resources to make the most effective product possible.
“We deliberately chose to focus on our getting the design right and not on seeking investor funding through the traditional models,” he said. “We wanted to leave it up to the consumers to choose our product and not spending thousands of dollars getting an analysis report on what we ‘might’ be able to do.”
Longtail Designs’ Kickstarter campaign for the Rescue Biner launched on April 14 with the campaign’s deadline ending on May 29. Since its launch, the company has surpassed its $30,000 goal, which will cover the initial start-up costs and allow them to create a minimum quantity to bring the product to market.
“As a company, we want our designs to make a difference for those who use them,” Moore said. “As entrepreneurs, we want to build something that gives back and looks out for our community and the environment instead of just worrying about the bottom line. If we do things the right way and worry about being a good company that makes great products, the rest will take care of itself.”
For more information on MSU’s School of Business Administration, contact the Elmer R. Smith College of Business and Technology at firstname.lastname@example.org, 606-783-2174 or visit www.moreheadstate.edu/cbt.