Universal Language

U.S. investors aren't the only ones who know a good deal when they see it.

Although the world is home to hundreds of different languages and cultures, the words business, capital and profit are understood everywhere. That's a good thing for Chris Donato and John Rapchinski, co-founders of ReMark Partners Inc., who found that their road to potential riches began overseas, even if it doesn't end there. In fact, they recently secured funding for their company from investors overseas, demonstrating the significant opportunities for capital formation that U.S. entrepreneurs can find outside the United States.

Donato and Rapchinski, both 30, built their Norristown, Pennsylvania-based referral solutions company back in 1999, initially funding their Internet creation with personal savings. Although their vision called for a suite of business solutions, their first product, JobTag, drew on their background in recruiting. "JobTag is an employment referral solution that enables companies to use their employees, vendors and anyone with vested interest to [get referrals] through our company," notes Rapchinski. "Most of our clients are small to mid-sized businesses, and they've been focused on technology so far. However, we're open to all businesses."

The Internet was at its hottest back then, and capital came from individual and institutional venture capital investors. And though the stock markets began to show a fissure in April 2000, there was still enough momentum left for ReMark to close a $1 million deal that May. The proceeds were earmarked for working capital, product development and the addition of key personnel.

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This article was originally published in the April 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Universal Language.

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