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Good reputations and a little money helped these entrepreneurs open their own ad agency.

This story appears in the October 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What: Advertising agency

Who: Mark McGarrah and Bryan Jessee of McGarrah/Jessee

Where: Austin, Texas

When: Started in 1996

How much: $1,000

When Mark McGarrah and Bryan Jessee decided to start their own ad agency in 1996, they had nothing to go on but their savings, wits and reputations. As senior officers at a large national agency, the two knew their career paths had reached a fork in the road. "We knew we weren't ever going to own a piece of that company," says Jessee, 45.

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