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Success Story: MakeSafe Tools

Scott Swaaley founded MAKESafe Tools, an engineering and manufacturing company that develops innovative industrial motor control devices to make tool operation safer.

He saw how yearly over 16,000 people were significantly injured as a result of known and easily mitigated machinery hazards despite resources available and OSHA requirements. Through research, prototyping, testing, and applying his education and experience expertise, they developed solutions. MAKESafe also works with organizations like the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to develop new products for the industrial safety market.

Today MAKESafe offers a variety of products, systems, and distribution methods as well as integrators – plus free quotes and trials. The business has also worked with The Brink SBDC to grow, obtain two patents, add a full- and part-time job, as well as find success with SBIR, Small Business Innovation Research programs.

“The facilitators at The Brink SBDC introduced me to the concept of SBIR grants, helped me navigate through the complexities of federal grant writing, and were always available to help at a moment’s notice. Without them, I never would have received my $150,000 Phase 1 award. I can’t imagine writing a SBIR proposal without help from The Brink. Their hard-won experience, germane insights, and how-to workshops take a seemingly impossible task and make it manageable. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still really hard – but you now have a resource to help organize and translate all that gov-speak into an actionable to-do list.”

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Areas of Assistance


Economic Impact

$405MM in capital
+$29.4K in sales
Added jobs


San Diego, CA 92123

“Their hard-won experience, germane insights, and how-to workshops take a seemingly impossible task and make it manageable.”

Scott Swaaley, CEO, MakeSafe Tools

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