Tool time: how one entrepreneur built a better screwdriver—and used smart networking to get it into Sears stores nationwide
Don Debelak


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: The Grip-N-Drive is an upgrade from the typical ratcheting screwdriver. Kenner patented the product's rubber grip mechanism: It spins freely in either direction, but then deforms to grip down on the screwdriver's handle when squeezed. A package of five Grip-N-Drive screwdrivers (two Phillips and three slotted screwdrivers) sells for $19.99 at Sears stores nationwide under the Craftsman label.
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Reality check: a look back at the growing pains and gains made by the stars of the startup, Entrepreneur and AOL'S year-long reality series
by Geoff Williams


What sounded like a novel experiment to a freelance writer, several Entrepreneur editors and a handful of producers at AOL's Small Business programming department must have sounded like a dream come true to a small group of entrepreneurs last year. That's because Entrepreneur and AOL teamed up in April 2004 to launch an online reality series, The Startup. For an entire year, four different startup businesses would be followed, and readers could chart the entrepreneurs' progress.
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Rock and roll entrepreneur: Frank Zappa's true legacy
by Nick Gillespie


Was Frank Zappa, the memorably mustachioed musician who died in 1993 of prostate cancer, rock and roll's answer to Herman Melville? Maybe so, and not just because the Moby-Dick scribe sported some pretty odd facial hair.

Writing about Melville and other American Renaissance writers, Lionel Trilling argued in The Liberal Imagination that our culture is "dialectic" and that our most representative figures "contain a large part of the dialectic within themselves, their meaning and power lying in their contradictions."
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The search is on: will our entrepreneur find his way through the funding maze to land the investors he needs?
by April Y. Pennington


LAST MONTH, WE LOOKED AT SCOTT Duffy's financial strategy as he worked to secure investors for potential acquisition or development deals. So did his efforts pay off?

Well, Duffy was able to build a partnership with the number-one financier of self-storage facilities, Buchanan Storage Capital in Newport Beach, California. "I can get 75 percent loan-to-value on most of what I want to do," says Duffy, founder of Self Storage Capital Group (SSCG) in Santa Monica, California. "So I have to raise z5 percent."
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Home smart home: this entrepreneur wants to make your new home the ultimate gadget
by Heather Clancy


THE SECURITY, lighting and temperature control systems he sells may be futuristic, but Craig Curran, 42, counts on a down-to-earth argument to win converts for his "low voltage" wiring and installation company: Once drywall is up in a house, it's much, much harder to retrofit without making a mess.
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Seeing greens: a day on the golf course inspires one entrepreneur to score a winning—and profitable—advertising business
by Nichole L. Torres


WHILE GOLFING WITH HIS BROTHER one day, Andy Yocom saw prime advertising space on the flags on the course. He and his brother Timmy reasoned that any marketing messages would get prominent attention if they were placed on the flags, since golfers focus on them when they take their shots.

Convinced the idea would work, Yocom set out to persuade golf course owners to warm up to the concept of brand advertising on their greens. "With golf as traditional as it is, finding people in the industry that can think [outside] of the box [was a challenge] because they're so protective of the golf course image," Yocom, 37, explains. "I get the comment a lot that they don't want to 'NASCAR' their courses."
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No sweet: this persistent entrepreneur's new take on sports headbands is quickly becoming a hit with athletes
by Nichole L. Torres


THERE'S NOTHING LIKE A HEADBAND soaked with sweat and falling into your eyes to get you off your game. At least that's what Vincent E. Norment thought as he watched a professional basketball game. He saw the players struggling with their athletic headbands and wondered if there was a better way.

Norment, 42, believed a thick strap across the top of the headband, made with the same superabsorbent material as the rest, would not only absorb more of an athlete's sweat, but also stay in place. With a background in sports-related products, he approached headband manufacturers to drum up interest. "They looked at the product and said it wouldn't work," he says. "I didn't let that stop me."
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