"We have designed for over seven different military vehicles of varying sizes," said Aaron Lewis, owner and founder of Sphere Brake Defense.

He is getting his business off the ground while keeping vehicles moving on the ground.

Lewis retired from U.S. Army as a military officer, but while serving, he came up with the idea of of a sphere brake.

"Unlike disc brakes, the patent sphere brake generates more brake power with a smaller brake effective diameter, which is lighter and has the unprecedented capability of changing brake pads without any tools," said Lewis.

The equipment is not made all in one place.

"We have a very distributed supply chain from different parts of the U.S., more regionally than nationally, but that enables us to keep our overhead down, so that we can operate as lean and efficient as possible," said Lewis. "Even though this is a new technology, we have to deliver for the customers at a cost-competitive price."

Parts are assembled into kits, which are put together in east Erie inside Reddog Industries where Sphere Brake Defense is housed.

Along with Reddog, Lewis credits his business growth to help received from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, which awarded funding for the start up.

In 2016, he went all in, focusing on what it can provide to customers, which turned out to mainly be the Department of Defense.

He is now looking to enhance offerings.

"We are one of 20 finalists in the Army's X Tech Search 6 competition," said Lewis.

It's for the Army's future vertical lift program, allowing the Erie County-based company to pivot from the ground to the sky.