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Licensing a Product Idea From the Government

You could uncover your next big product using tech transfer.

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

While doing a Special Forces documentary, filmmaker Christian D'Andrea ran into a soldier powering up on a military-issue energy bar. It was specially formulated for the demands of the battlefield by the Army's Combat Feeding Directorate in Natick, Massachusetts. But it wasn't available to civilians.

Smelling a business opportunity that was more than bite-size, Christian, 34, and his brother Mark, 31, realized they could license the science behind the snack. In 2004, they signed a deal to commercialize the product beyond guys in green. The Hooah! bar is now sold in thousands of outlets, from Albertsons grocery stores to Amazon.com, and earlier this year the brothers released an energy drink also based on a Natick formulation. By adopting government products, Los Angeles-based D'Andrea Brothers LLC expects to bring in sales of more than $1 million this year.

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