Documentary shares entrepreneurs across NC, Jerry Neal recognized
It’s seven in the evening, and despite heavy rain on Tuesday night, people are still entering the Sunset Theater to join the premiere of the documentary series.
The “Making North Carolina” series, created by VentureAsheboro and RhinoLeap Production, showed three of the seven documentaries that would tell the stories of North Carolina entrepreneurs from Piedmont and Triangle.
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Jonathan Till, co-founder of VentureAsheboro, said the company received a $ 103,000 grant from NC IDEA, a private foundation that supports entrepreneurship. The distribution for the series was $ 20,000, which was used to hire RhinoLeap Productions for videography, editing and the premiere night.
“We hope PBS-NC will consider taking the series, which will fund us to continue telling amazing stories about enterprising North Carolinians,” Till said. “Our goal is to tell inspiring stories of entrepreneurial failure and success in our great country.”
Jeremy Skidmore, artistic director of the production, greeted the audience, explaining that the documentaries will be divided into three parts with questions and answers at the end. The entrepreneurs represented were Jerry Neal, Lee-Catherine Bonner and Algen Cash.
Here’s a closer look at Randolph County Entrepreneur Jerry Neal. Neil’s achievements can be further found in the documentary; some of the answers are taken from the series.
“The things I loved as a child; I love today ‘
The first documentary starred Jerry Neal, co-founder of RF Micro Devices. The company changed the world of communication with the production of a small chip for a mobile phone.
He currently lives on the same property where he was raised near Asheboro, not far from the Linbrook estate. The documentary immersed itself in its early inventions and love of electricity at an early age. One of the creations is a microphone made with a box of stickers.
Neil said radio and communications have been his number one passion since he was eight years old. He said it all started with his father, who according to the Geographic Information Bill can take anything he wants after World War II. His father wanted to know about the radio, so they sent him all the equipment.
Neil began studying people essential to electricity, such as Benjamin Franklin, who was known for his experiment, but even at a young age, Neil knew that one should not pull a wire on a kite if one wanted to live. So he continued to read books to learn how radios worked.
He will never forget a conversation between his mother, other ladies talking about their sons. When asked what he did, his mother said he liked to play with strings. He was really building a Marconi radio transmitter.
“I started building these transmitters, and I’ve actually done that all my life,” Neil said. “What’s interesting to me is the things I loved when I was eight, they’re still the things I love today.”
“Emotional attachment to the museum”
As the owner of the Lynbrook mansion, Neil’s interest in John Deere topped the museum at the mansion. Neil said he got involved because Deere had never lived long enough to see the company he started as a blacksmith.
“The Midwest was a terrible place to try farming because they had to stop all the time. So John Deere solved that problem,” Neil said. “When you think about it at the time, he said that in 1830, 95% of the people in the United States were farmers, there was a connection between industrial development and what happened on the farms.”
Neil has a very emotional attachment to machines and thinks the museum is a great way to share this information and get other people interested.
“Dream of broadcasting around the world”
Neil also has an attachment to radio and is preparing to use his state-of-the-art radio tower. In his youth, he used the radio as a social channel to attract the attention of some girls who operated from the standard broadcast.
Now its new antenna will amplify the signal by a factor of 10, making it unique with fiberglass.
“The antenna is a flat copper that has a motor inside. When you turn on your radio, it goes to the right length of the probe, and the length of that one has to be set to the highest frequency,” Neil said. “This is the latest technology; as far as I know, there is no better antenna anywhere.”
He attributes his love of radio to radio founder Guglielmo Marconi. He remembers learning that Marconi and his family received free tickets to the Titanic, where his radio is on board. However, he had to stay, and then days before the trip one of the boys was ill, so the family never left.
Neil thought it would be fantastic to be crossing the Atlantic, where he operated one of those software-defined radio stations communicating via an Internet connection back to his station in Randolph County, broadcasting around the world.
“It was probably the funniest time of my life.”
The co-founder had faith in his company with Bill Pratt and Powell Seymour, which began in 1991. Neil said Bill came up with the idea of creating a microchip power amplifier. However, the three did not know that the mobile phone market would be as big as it is.
The first power amplifiers they built were a millimeter square with manufacturers such as Motorola and Nokia.
“We knew that if we could make this microchip work, we could sell it for $ 1.5,” Neil said. “We can probably make them for about 25 or 30 cents and so $ 1 and a half gives us a huge profit.”
He was amazed that they managed to expand, despite what he called the company’s almost five deadly experiences. He said they continued to work harder and focused,
“For about eight or nine years, we sent chips worth dollars a year and had a lot of fun. It was probably the funniest time of my life,” Neil said.
For those who missed the premiere, the fourth part of the series will take place on September 23 at 7 p.m. The fourth part will focus on STARworks, an arts-oriented workspace that promotes community and economic development by providing artistic, educational programs. and business ventures.
Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/.
Petrus Jean-Charles is a government reporter. They are interested in what is happening in the community and are open to advice on people, business and issues. Connect with Petruce at [email protected] and follow @PetruceKetsia on Twitter.