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Lights, Car, Action

Neon products inventor

This story appears in the February 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

At 21, Jack Panzarella moved back home with his parents to cut his expenses so he could introduce his first invention, a high-voltage neon light that operates using a transformer. Powered by a car's battery, the Undercar Neon makes a car's undercarriage glow in the dark. Now Panzarella, 29, has three major product lines--Auto-Neon (a line of car products), Sport-Neon (for in-line skaters) and Home-Neon (a line of clocks, sculptures and accent lighting)--with a combined total of more than 200 products. His Wayne, New Jersey, company, Street Glow Inc., now employs more than 200 people and had estimated sales of $16 million last year.

Panzarella's parents helped him in more ways than just providing a place to live. They're both entrepreneurs, and growing up, he knew from their example that he'd someday start his own business. His idea for neon auto accessories succeeded, despite his limited budget, because his invention had drama and pizzazz--in other words, he had a product people couldn't help but notice.

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