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Lessons from Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios fiasco

Schilling, 400 employees, and Rhode Island taxpayers had to learn the hard way that venture capital is best left to those who know how to make money. FORTUNE -- Five years ago Curt Schilling was a hero in New England, right up there with Paul Revere, J.F.K., and the mustachioed Dunkin' Donuts man. Today the former Red Sox pitcher is a pariah after his videogame company went bust, taking hundreds of ...

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10 most entrepreneurial states

Arizona is a sizzling spot for startups. People were more likely to launch businesses here than in any other state in the country last year. Arizona has benefited from a steady stream of entrepreneurs migrating from less business-friendly states like California. The lure? Business and property taxes are low, as are workers' compensation costs, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority. What's more, the labor pool is highly educated, as schools such as ...

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How an upstart bat maker swings against Louisville Slugger

BWP is among several boutique bat companies gaining traction inside MLB equipment lockers. Here's how they are doing it. By Cristina Rouvalis FORTUNE -- Selling a boutique bat to a famous major league baseball player is about as easy as teaching your great-aunt to hit a low outside slider over the scoreboard. But inside the bowels of PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Mike Gregory, vice president of BWP Bats of Brookville, Pa. is ...

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Romney promises a policy role

Romney fielded questions from small business owners Wednesday, promising to tackle taxes, regulation and health care reform. NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Mitt Romney promised members of the nation's small business lobby on Wednesday that, if elected, he would shut down health care reform, reduce taxes and tackle regulations. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee said small business has not thrived as it could have since the recession because of President Obama's policies, which ...

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When a Kickstarter Project Threatens to Fail

The crowd-funding site Kickstarter, as weÔÇÖve written, can be a wondrous tool. Entrepreneurs post an idea for a new product and then turn to the Internet community to raise capital to fund its development. According to the siteÔÇÖs new statistics page, Kickstarter has helped 60,786 project creators raise $261 million. When it works, the site pleases everybody. Creators find an easy path to start-up capital, investors get in on the ...

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Small Businesses Team Up to Land Federal Contracts

Back in 2008, Randy Lebolo sensed the housing market was ÔÇ£going down hard,ÔÇØ so he started looking for ways to diversify his commercial construction business. The Colombian immigrant certified his Boynton Beach (Fla.)-based company as a small, disadvantaged business through the Small Business AdministrationÔÇÖs 8(a) Business Development Program. The certification, which took six months and cost Lebolo about $5,000 in time and consulting fees, gives his 13-employee business an advantage: ...

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Micha Benoliel’s Open Garden

When Micha Benoliel was an MBA student in France in his 20s, he studied abroad in San Francisco for six months. One day he walked into the headquarters of Gap (GPS) to offer his services. He schmoozed a staffer and talked his way into the appointment book of then-Chief Executive Officer Mickey Drexler. ÔÇ£This could only happen in America,ÔÇØ says Benoliel, now 40. ÔÇ£This is the place you can change ...

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Small U.S. Franchises Head to the Middle East

Jonathan Spiel has tried three times to turn his beloved Tea Lounge in Brooklyn into a thriving chain. Four years ago, he closed his second location after his landlord raised the rent. Another outlet failed because of poor sales, and he abandoned his last attempt when a co-op board imposed tough rules. With the sluggish economy crimping his cash flow, Spiel has found a new way to expand: franchising. In ...

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Small U.S. Manufacturers Give Up on ‘Made in China’

When Sonja Zozula and Jerry Anderson founded LightSaver Technologies in 2009, everyone told them they should make their emergency lights for homeowners in China. After two years of outsourcing to factories there, last winter they shifted production to Carlsbad, Calif., about 30┬ámiles from their home in San Clemente. ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs probably 30┬ápercent cheaper to manufacture in China,ÔÇØ Anderson says. ÔÇ£But factor in shipping and all the other B.S. that you have ...

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