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How These Entrepreneurs Failed Their Way to Millions

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This story appears in the March 2015 issue of Start Up.

Shae Hong is no stranger to failure. His first company, ePods, which made a precursor to the tablet, didn’t survive the 2000 dot-com bust. His second venture, a line of countertop kitchen appliances, fizzled out in 2002 after Amana—from which Hong had obtained licensing rights—was sold to Maytag. 

Down the drain went nearly $3 million in development costs, including half a million dollars invested by Hong and his parents, costing the family home and savings. Out the window went the company’s deal with J.C. Penney to sell the blenders, mixers and toasters that were ready to ship. Three years into the venture, Hong and his remaining staff closed shop.

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