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California startup says it will create 1,200 local jobs

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A California startup company that hopes to manufacture trucks outfitted with giant video screens expects to hire 1,200 employees to staff a new 125,000-square-foot production facility near 86th Street and Georgetown Road.

Executives from the company, Litebox Inc., are scheduled to join Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard for a groundbreaking at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The company has not yet built any of the mobile entertainment semitrailers, which will feature 47-foot-tall high-definition screens, said Bob Yanagihara, Litebox's founder and CEO. He's also the only contact listed on the company's bare-bones website; he said Tuesday that a new version of the website will go live after the announcement.

Yanagihara said state and city economic development officials have offered the company an incentive package including tax abatements and training grants that's worth more than $40 million over 10 years.

Yanagihara said he has self-funded the company so far but has lined up more than $200 million from private investors. He declined to name any of the investors.

He said the new factory will build eight of the mobile entertainment trucks per month. They will sell for about $3 million apiece and feature Panasonic LED screens and Bose sound equipment.

"There's demand for these all over the world," Yanagihara said.

Indiana Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman Katelyn Hancock declined to comment on the planned announcement. She also declined to characterize the vetting process that led to a deal with Litebox or confirm details of the deal.

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