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Should You Tap a Nest Egg to Start a Business?

Is funding your startup with your retirement savings ill-advised or smart investing?

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This story appears in the April 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Like most entrepreneurs, John Krech doesn't follow conventional wisdom. After 20 years with 3M, he cashed in his 401(k) to launch ePhiphony, a Minneapolis software business that optimizes inventory management for QuickBooks users. But he spent two years developing and testing his product, RightOn Inventory, before he made his break from 3M.

While advisors recommended he leverage his savings with an SBA loan or investor funding, Krech preferred to use his retirement savings instead. Two years later, with Intuit and Microsoft as partners, he thinks he made the right decision.

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