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Joining a Support Group, Part I

With a spiraling economy and, for some, rough waters ahead, Starve-Ups and organizations like it help young entrepreneurs muddle through <I>and</I> prosper.

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

Starting up is never easy-and keeping your business thriving is even harder. But when you've got a support system in place, your entrepreneurial journey can be a bit easier. At least that's what the 13 member companies of Starve Ups believe. A nonprofit Portland, Oregon-based organization formed in late 2000 to be a support and networking group, Starve Ups provides a forum for young entrepreneurs to share ideas and get solutions to common problems.

In this, the first of a two-part series, we caught up with three members to hear their take on the current state of entrepreneurship, how they're getting through the economic downturn and how Starve Ups is helping them through it all. The panelists: Leif Youngberg, 35, co-founder of CoolerEmail.com, an enhanced e-mail services provider; Mark Hutchinson, 32, founder of VisionSite, a Web portal for eye-care information and a directory of eye-care professionals; and Ryan Buchanan, 26, founder of GCmaterials, an e-services provider for construction companies and subcontractors. Here are their stories.

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