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This story appears in the March 2003 issue of Teen Startups.

What do Abbey Fleck, Chris Haas and Rich Stachowski all have in common? These three successful inventors have all enjoyed nationwide success. Their secret? It all starts with the idea.

Most inventions are created to solve a common, everyday problem. Fleck, Haas and Stachowski all noticed obstacles and thought of products to overcome them. When Fleck, now 19, was 8 years old and helping her dad make breakfast one Saturday morning, she noticed how unappetizing microwave-cooked bacon looked. "When [my dad] took it out of the microwave, we were out of paper towels to soak up the grease," she recalls. "So he was just holding it up and the fat was dripping off of it." That's where Fleck got the idea for Makin Bacon, a contraption in which the bacon cooks hanging up so that the fat will drip onto a tray below.

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