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Leaping Into Action

FrogPad uses vendor relationships to jump-start its financial success.

Linda Marroquin, CEO of computer-peripheral company FrogPad, turned dreams into dollars by sharing her vision with vendors. To fund everything from production to marketing for her product--a one-handed keyboard for portable devices--Marroquin convinced vendors it would be a smash with consumers.

Buying into the vision, vendors offered payment terms that helped Houston-based FrogPad defer over $1 million in costs during the product's launch and growth. "With sales increasing 25 percent per month, vendor contributions have allowed us to sell product before we pay for it," says Marroquin, noting that some vendors give them extra time to pay invoices or have agreed to convert debt into equity.

With so many vendors-turned-owners, it's not surprising that FrogPad's product rocketed out of the gate in late 2003. Now offering a variety of one-handed keyboards and accessories, FrogPad generated over $1 million in 2004 sales.

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This article was originally published in the May 2005 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Leaping Into Action.

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