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How Winning Contests Helped a Startup Beyond the Launch

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This story appears in the November 2011 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Kris Appel of Encore Path
Kris Appel of Encore Path
Arianne Teeple

The first $10,000 Kris Appel deposited into her checking account comprised her winnings from a local contest. With that money, Appel, founder and president of Encore Path, a medical device company, was able to hire the attorneys and FDA consultant she needed to develop her flagship product: the Tailwind, a rehabilitation device that assists stroke survivors in recovering arm function. Appel continued to enter --and win them--throughout her company's first year of product development.

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