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This story appears in the May 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

To understand just how fertile the electronics business is, consider the heritage of Ed Meltzer. His parents' TV and radio repair shop, started in 1959 in Kansas City, today is not only a thriving systems integrator but has also given birth to another high-tech venture, Intelligent Wireless Systems Inc., of which Meltzer is president and CEO.

The Prairie Village, Kansas, company designs, develops, manufactures and markets proprietary wireless transceivers for the automation and control industries. For instance, the company's Automated Vehicle Locating and Information System (AVLIS), designed and manufactured for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, provides the transit company with up-to-the-minute information about how effectively the fleet is serving transit riders at any given moment. "The system saves them money," Meltzer says.

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