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Take Your Shot

Your small start-up really does have a chance at succeeding in a marketplace full of big-name competitors.

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This story appears in the February 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you walk down the aisles in any grocery store, you're sure to see a dizzying array of products for sale. Not surprisingly, several entrepreneurs feel intimidated by the prospect of bringing something new to market-especially when their main competitors are well-known and financially stable corporations.

But as the Berish family has found, start-ups can still find success in a marketplace dominated by big companies. They didn't let the wave of competition stop them from creating 3 Vodka Distilling Co. in Chicago in 2000. Founded by brothers Brian, 40; and Brett, 34; along with their father, Barry, 70, 3 Vodka was launched to offer a unique take on the same old vodka formulas. "What we saw in the liquor industry [was] that it is a very copycat, 'me too' industry," explains Brian. "If something is hot, then you have everybody else trying to copy exactly what was done."

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