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Sky's The Limit

Ever thought of starting your own airline? Now that's an entrepreneur.

This story appears in the August 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The unlikely roots of Ned Homfeld's can be traced back further than any of his entrepreneurial ventures. Although the ultimate result has been a multimillion-dollar company, Homfeld has traveled a long road and faced the challenges of starting and outgrowing a number of businesses since he honed his survival skills in the competitive arena of sailboat racing as a teen. "The competition in is much like the competition in many of the businesses I've been in," says Homfeld. "If there are 40 boats that are exactly the same--the same sails, the same hulls, the same weight--they ideally have the same speed. It's how you sail your boat that determines whether you win or lose a race."

As Homfeld studied to earn his degree in naval architecture, his goal had been to design America's Cup racing yachts. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Cup: A string of businesses, beginning with a trucking company he started while in college, kept Homfeld's beloved hobby just that.

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