Power inverter company’s amazing origins

2 November 2012

FORT WORTH, Texas–What’s the secret to engineering a startup success?

Maybe owning a plane together.

Gary Chemelewski and Barry Jason go way back, back to Motorola days when Chemelewski was a design engineer and Jason was in research. They were friends and they owned a plane together.

And they had some similar notions about innovating inside a large and successful company.

“Motorola did a good job of recognizing their technical innovators,” said Jason, who secured a number of patents during his Moto days. “But it’s not the same thing as saying, ‘Gee I invented something, brought it to market and benefitted from it.’”

“Once you do that, you really want the direct benefits rather than–and I don’t want to minimize this–a pat on the back…and ‘we have more stuff for you to do.’”

So they got into the power inverter business. It took them two years and nine months to get profitable. That was about 22 years ago.

Today, their company, Exeltech, churns out 100,000 model numbers a year, but the secret to their success is a modular approach to design.

Listen as Jason and Chemelewski talk about their company and their design approach:

 

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