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Neither Fish Nor Fowl

Test the regulatory waters early if your product doesn't fit into a recognizable category.

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

Ohio entrepreneurs Brian Pearson and Nick Costanzo saw a niche, created a product to fill it, and saw it become a success. But all was not well. They had created something that didn't fit any legal category.

It all started when Pearson's mother asked him and his friend Costanzo to stop at a grocery store to pick up some gelatin shots for his sister's 21st birthday party. They told his mother there was no such thing as pre-made gelatin shots. That gave them an idea: In 1998, the two friends formed BPNC Inc., created four flavors, arranged for manufacture and colorful packaging, and prepared to market Zippers, The Original Gelatin Shot.

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