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This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

John Lie-Nielsen, 28, is on the fast track. The San Francisco-area company he and a partner started in 1999, Allied Cash Advance, is growing right out of its britches. Happily, when it came time to buy bigger britches, Lie-Nielsen knew right where he could find the deep pockets he needed.

Lie-Nielsen has been luckier than most--he's nailed down three rounds of angel capital that helped him open the first retail locations for his short-term consumer-loan business. In three years, the company has grown to more than 35 stores while doubling revenues each year. But the business is consumer-driven, and Allied Cash Advance growth is fueled predominantly by opening new locations.

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