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After Serving Time, This Entrepreneur Came up With a Better Way for Inmates to Stay in Touch With Family and Friends Frederick Hutson saw an opportunity in the slow and expensive prisoner communications system and analyzed the market during his time in prison.

By Gary Bredow

entrepreneur daily

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Frederick Hutson created and sold his first company while serving in the Air Force as an F-16 Fighter Jet engineer. After leaving the military with an honorable discharge, he turned his skills and innovation toward shipping. The only problem was the product. Hutson was busted for moving 8,000 pounds of marijuana across the border, arrested, tried and imprisoned.

Hutson saw an opportunity in the slow and expensive prisoner communications system and analyzed the market during his time in prison. After serving his 51-month sentence, he pitched the business plan to his friend Alfonzo Brooks and the two of them scraped together about $5,000 to launch a website and print postcards to market the business. A couple of years later, he closed a $5-million round of funding. Watch this video to learn how Hutson turned a broken system into a multimillion-dollar-a-year business, all while reducing recidivism and providing employment for reformed felons.

Related: How These 2 Entrepreneurs Turned Their Minimum Wage Jobs Into a Multimillion-Dollar Brand

Join host Gary Bredow as he travels around the country interviewing over 26 small business owners to hear their personal stories and find out what it really takes to start a successful business from the ground up. Energetic, inspirational and educational, Start Up is a fast paced new series sure to capture the imagination and hearts of the nearly 50 percent of Americans who dream of starting their own business.

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