Coffee Conversations with Greg J: Freddie Figgers – CEO, Figgers Communications
Written by beachcityradio on May 1, 2020
We were ecstatic to learn of this incredible young man via email. IT is refreshing to see the millenial generation make strides in this manner. Thus we couldnt wait to have a coffee conversation with Mr. Freddie Figgers.
At just thirty-years-old, inventor, telecom company founder, software engineer and philanthropist Freddie Figgers, CEO of Figgers Communications, runs the only African American owned wireless telecommunications company in the United States. The company provides cellular service and manufacturse cell phones, accessories and smart TVs.
Striving to be a good corporate citizen while building a successful, trailblazing business in the telecommunications sector, Figgers has spearheaded a campaign to provide critical assistance to thousands of healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. His Florida-based non-profit The Figgers Foundation is donating and distributing approximately 700,000 units of personal protection equipment (“PPE”) to Coronavirus outbreak hotspots around the country.
These hotspots include hospitals and healthcare workers in New York, Washington State, California, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, Florida, and Michigan. The donations include some of the most crucial PPE equipment such as surgical masks, N95 masks, face shields and hazardous material protective coveralls.
The need is great and The Figgers Foundation continues to raise funds to provide critical PPE to keep frontline workers safe while they serve others and we need your support to continue this effort! People who want to join the fight against COVID-19 can donate at figgersfoundation.org. For healthcare workers and first responders in need of PPE, please submit requests at figgersfoundation.org.
Figgers Wireless wants to help first responders stay connected to their loved ones while they work on the frontlines of this crisis with a special offer of a free month of service – visit figgers.com for more info.
Figgers’ story of perseverance and overcoming adversity is extraordinary. Abandoned at birth next to a dumpster and adopted by a retirement-aged couple from an under-served community in Quincy, Florida, his route to becoming a technology prodigy at 9-years-old and later successful millionaire tech guru at such a young age is like a Hollywood movie plot!
Freddie was adopted by a wonderful family who gave him lots of love and support. Money was lean, but they provided him a good childhood, despite being bullied by other children who knew he was abandoned by his birth mother.
Freddie was called “dumpster baby” by neighborhood children; his refuge became technology and learning to take apart and rebuild computers.
Freddie was fascinated by computers as a child thanks to a Gateway commercial. His Dad couldn’t afford to buy him a new computer. He took Freddie to the Goodwill where he bought him a used Macintosh. Turns out it was broken. He was determined to get it to work. He applied his 8-year-old brain to it, read the manual, opened it to see what was wrong, replaced some parts with parts from his dad’s old radio–and got it to work.
The old Macintosh computer his father purchased became his “best friend” and he spent countless hours learning how to repair, program and become proficient with it. He still has the computer today as a reminder of when he first fell in love with technology.
Freddie’s love for technology grew from then on. When he was 12, his parents enrolled him in an after school tech program with the city. After demonstrating an exceptional aptitude for computers, The City of Quincy hired him as a tech. He worked there for the next three years, eventually helping support telecommunications for the city government, fire department and police department.
Freddie did not earn a college degree, learning programming and how to work with technology on the job. He did attend a few college classes but what the instructor was teaching he already knew. At the same time, he received an offer for a contract/project that would earn him $80,000 in a shorter period of time than finishing that class. He knew how to do the work, needed to support his family and took the job. The project was for an oil calibration system to protect against consumer fraud at the gas pump.Now worth more than $62 million, Figgers Communications includes:
Figgers Wireless, an FCC-regulated telecom and electronics company offering cellular, mobile broadband, home phone, international calling solutions, and smart TVs;
Figgers Health, which aims to improve the lives of chronic health patients with innovative technologies; and
Figgers Foundation, whose mission is to inspire change, bring awareness and provide solutions to real life issues with a focus on education, self-sufficiency and wellness.
Freddie Figgers holds nine U.S. patents and has received national attention for his inventions, which include the first smartphone to feature an automatic safety mechanism disabling data and text while driving over 10 mph.
Other groundbreaking inventions include his first patent, a GPS tracking device he installed in his father’s shoe, who suffered from dementia, which allowed him to track and locate his father when he wandered at night; he also used the technology to create a smart blood glucose monitor that communicates critical data directly to family and doctors in real time, helping patients better manage their health.
Freddie Figgers started his own computer repair business at age 15.
As a software developer, Freddie Figgers’ work has evolved out of problem solving:
Began Figgers Wireless by providing telecom service in underserved rural communities– discuss why and how Freddie made that choice; how it helped him eventually win over the FCC to receive approval to operate as a public utility/Wireless service provider
First patent/invention was for a GPS monitoring system imbedded in his father’s shoe–this technology was a precursor to LifeAlert and PetSmart Dog Collars
Glucometer – the death of a family member to diabetic coma inspired Freddie to want to develop a product to help chronic diabetes patients to better manage their health and blood glucose levels
9 patents right now covering various technologies to improve people’s lives in some way
Cell phone, Fbuds, wireless speakers
We are blown away by the legacy and young life of Mr.Freddie Figgers. And we honorhim and are ecstatic that he is able to share his story on Coffee Conversations with Greg J.