Jim Lesser

31, founder of JDL Management in Philadelphia, maker of three of the top 10 arcade games in the world
This story first appeared in the August 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Description: Sports marketing and promotion

Start-up: 1998 with $550,000 to $600,000

Sales: $7 million projected in 2001

He's got game: "We redesign old games and do promotions. With Super Shot, we added flat-screen TVs that have Reggie Miller or Vince Carter talking trash at you. High scorers get flown to the NBA Finals and compete in a tournament for $50,000 in cash and prizes. [This year's winner played] against Vince Carter on the Late Late Show."

That's a lot of start-up capital: "I funded it with money from my club business and other promotions I'd done, and went to the bank for the rest."

Is technology the enemy? "Actually, I see the opposite. You can pay $40,000 for a new game that's obsolete in one year, but our games have been around for 90 years. Technology will not overtake them, because they're physical, interactive games."

High stakes: "You can't be concerned with the naysayers. If you believe something is special, you have to be willing to roll the dice."

Contact Source

  • JDL Management, 610) 668-9930, fax: (610) 668-9935
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