The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors surprised owner Derek Myers of Neoti and his staff as the March Member of the Month. Neoti is located at 910 West Lancaster Street in Bluffton employing 17 employees.
Neoti started in 2006 when Josh Mitchell and Derek Myers met during a Chamber of Commerce Technology Group; which was a group of people with technology interests striving to grow and evolve technology needs in the community.
“Josh and I decided to start our own company with our goal to be the nations largest community digital signage network,” explained Myers. “We grew to 14 employees in 2008, we had great momentum, and were the largest digital signage networking company out of Chicago. Neoti was installing in large venues, on the brink of launching large scale networks with nation-wide franchises, rolling out digital signage with Lutheran Hospital; and then the stock market crashed.”
Myers stated that all ventures stopped, advertisers disappeared. “We stood evaluating if the business was going to be sustainable because companies were not willing to take us on as a risk. In the spring of 2009, we had to re-invent ourselves with marketing outdoor large format digital signage systems. We invested in mobile LED trailers, rented them at UCLA home football games, the Rose Bowl, toured with Lifetime TV, Nascar events, and Under Armour events.”
LED became a game changer for the Neoti team to market and rent as the demand increased. Neoti purchased equipment from China and rented LED products for concerts, festivals, colleges, big music acts and the largest one-day festival; the Kansas City Rock Fest.
“We started gaining exposure and in 2016 we co-designed and manufactured our own brand of LED products and hired a salesman in the broadcast industry,” explained Myers. “In the winter of 2017, we were invited to solve a problem at the NBC Rockefeller Studio, but only had 2 weeks to design, fabricate and install a 16’x14’ large temporary video wall. Our team did it and we were awarded the project.”
Myers stated that the mid-western values and being responsive to customer needs is what sets Neoti apart from the competition.
Neoti continued to gain more exposure and prove to the broadcast industry that they can deliver an exceptional product. “We have been fortunate to install products with every major network in the USA such as the Today’s Show, Live with Kelly and Ryan, ESPN, NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS Sports, and BBC,” said Myers.
In October 2019 Neoti was awarded the LED video display project for the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Parkview Field. “Having a local and regional partnership we are able to utilize their facility as a remote showroom for current and potential customers,” stated Myers. “Our local service department, run by Todd Fiechter, does all of the super-fine repair work and intricate repairs on the LED products.”
“As I look back through the decades of local experience with companies such as NESCO, Franklin Electric, and Pretzels; these are all native companies that have reached significant levels and they have motivated me to stay here in Wells county,” explained Myers.
“To be acknowledged and thanked is like a mutual gratitude because we respect the values of what a community like this has and it reflects those values. It has been a lot of hard work; rising to the challenges of a growing company, but we can’t be more excited about the next decade, it will be fun to see what happens. It will be what it will become, and we will use the gifts we have,” concluded Myers.