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By Gum! is possible to beat everyone--even big companies--to market, as this entrepreneur found out.

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

When U.S. newspapers mentioned that would lift its ban on chewing gum at the start of 2004, most readers probably let it register for two seconds before moving on to the funnies.

But Art Baer thought "There has to be a market here." Baer, 26, knew if he was going to move beyond the daydreaming stage, he had to move fast. He had a background on Wall Street, but this was his first crack at becoming an entrepreneur-and in an foreign land, no less. Investing $20,000 of his own money into Impress Gum, Baer quit his job, flew to Singapore several times, talked to the right people in the government, lined up a manufacturer, and hired a firm to promote his gum, which fights tooth decay.

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