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This story appears in the May 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Black-light posters featuring mushrooms and trance-inducing swirls were absent in Graham Weihmiller's dorm room at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. "There wasn't a Web site for those things [yet]," says the 24-year-old who co-founded Manhattan's Inc. with college buddy Neal Batra, 24, in August 1998-about a year after turning the tassel. Instead, Weihmiller "got a lot of used furniture and went about college existence."

But it wasn't regretful memories of a blah dorm room that spawned the idea for umbrella over (where students can buy furnishings, decorating accessories, gifts and electronics with no shipping charges) and (where attendees of like schools can bid on each other's futons and bean bags). It was more of a "see a niche and fill it" situation.

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