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Searching high and low for the next Bill Gates

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

In today's lackluster economy, even corporate giants like GE are getting trashed by investors, consumers and the press. A bad time to launch a company? Hardly. Some of America's most prominent entrepreneurs, from Bill Gates to Starbucks' Howard Schultz, got their start during weak economies, when they were forced to build well-run companies without having wads of cash thrown at them.

We asked some of today's savviest investors and insiders who they're betting on to be the next Gates or Schultz. One contender is serial entrepreneur Mark Galvin, 42, who co-founded his third company, Derry, New Hampshire-based Cedar Point Communications, in 2000. Cedar Point now has 74 employees and, with its revolutionary voice equipment allowing cable operators to provide telephone services, is being touted by investors as a legend in the making. According to Todd Dagres, a general partner at leading VC firm Battery Ventures, Cedar Point's technology has a potential market of more than $2 billion.

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