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Jacobs Ladder

Jacobs Ladder is an exercise equipment manufacturer located in North Tonawanda, New York founded by Bob Palka in 2004. Its patented “treadmill climber” utilizes low impact, high range-of-motion exercise to provide a superior cardio workout. The equipment is designed for fitness enthusiasts, health club clientele, and training athletes. It’s used in health clubs; at colleges and universities; and by members of the military, firefighters, and professional athletes. Jacobs Ladder was used by Robert Downey, Jr. to train for the first Iron Man movie. NBC also featured the product on season 8 and 9 of its hit show The Biggest Loser.

Project profile

Startup Company
Microenterprise Program Participant 
Microenterprise Loan 


“As a small startup manufacturing company, we needed to focus on low cost, low overhead operation. We decided to place our facility in Niagara County, not only because it offered a low cost solution, but the quality of the labor force, the accessibility to trucking and accessibility to Canada gave us an advantage that helped us to launch a product in a very competitive market. In addition, the NCIDA and the Center for Economic Development were able to offer low cost funding that we directed at marketing. This was one of the many critical factors that has lead to our growth.”

- Bob Palka
President, Jacobs Ladder LLC