Freddie Figgers, 31, is an entrepreneur and the founder of Figgers Wireless, a telecommunication company that is worth more than $62 million. Despite having a hard life at first, the young inventor was able to turn his love for technology into a million dollar business!
As a baby, Freddie was abandoned and put in a dumpster in the countryside of Florida. He was taken in by his adoptive mother and father, Nathan Figgers and Betty Mae Figgers.
One day, his father told him about the conditions around his birth. “Your biological mother, she threw you away, and me and Betty Mae, we didn’t want to send you through foster care and we adopted you, and you’re my son,'” Freddie told BBC.
“When he told me that, I was like, ‘OK I’m trash,’ and I felt unwanted,” he continued. “But he grabbed my shoulder and he said, ‘Listen, don’t you ever let that bother you.'”
Freddie found an interest in computers when his father Nathan brought home a broken Mac. After he took the computer apart and fixed it after 50 attempts, Freddie knew he wanted to pursue a career in technology.
When he was 12-years-old, he was hired by the mayor of Quincy, Florida to repair computers. “When we get to city hall, she shows me all of these computers in the back, oh gosh, maybe 100 of them stacked up, and she says, ‘I need these computers repaired,'” he said.
Soon after, Freddie would fix computers after school for $12 an hour. “It wasn’t even really about the money,” he added. “I had an opportunity to do something that I loved to do and it was just so fun to me.”
In another interview with The Florida Times Union, Freddie revealed that he used the money from his invention of the “smart shoe” to start his company Figgers Wireless. He created a shoe with a GPS tracker for his father after he developed Alzheimer’s disease and would wander out of the house.
“It was difficult to watch him decline – it’s something you never forget,” he said. “I’ve always been so grateful to him and my mom. They taught me not to let my circumstances define who I was.”
The tech inventor also created the Figgers Foundation, which donates to causes that include helping frontline workers, providing college scholarships to high school students, and more.
Freddie went on to say that he will always be grateful to his parents and how they gave him the opportunity to have a future.
“That could be me on the streets – I could have been homeless or dead if I hadn’t been found by the dumpster after I was born,” he said. “My parents adopted me and gave me love and a future. They did their best to make the world a better place, and now that’s all I want to do, too.”