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Hoop Dreams

When you're having trouble finding a manufacturer for your product, these ideas may help you locate the one you want.

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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Anyone who loves as much as Jason Parr does would understand his need to shoot hoops during the workday back when he worked at a Farmington Hills, Missouri, media management firm in 1995. Lunchtime, of course, was the perfect time to do this, but hauling around a cumbersome portable basketball hoop in the bed of his pickup truck didn't sound too appealing. Hence, a brainstorm: "Why not install a basketball hoop in a pickup truck?" he thought. Parr then went to work with his uncle, an engineer, and created a hoop that folds up and down (similar to a convertible top). Presto! Instant basketball, any time there's a paved parking lot.

Parr, now 35, has two patents on his invention, called Pickup Hoops, and has even sold two units to , which uses the hoops to set up basketball demonstrations. But the product hasn't gone any further yet, as Parr has focused on getting a licensing deal from a major sporting goods store or pickup truck manufacturer.

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