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Necessity was the mother of invention for these executives-turned-entrepreneurs.

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This story appears in the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When three executives with resumes featuring , Inktomi and vowed to start Vazu, their idea was born of frustration: Every time they bought new , it took hours to re-enter the names and phone numbers. "Absolutely everyone had this problem. What was surprising was that no one had solved it," says Ken Thom, 41, the , , company's vice president of products.

Thom, along with Vazu CEO Ramiro Calvo, 42; and COO Soujanya Bhumkar, 37; and three other backers, devoted $100,000 in late 2002 to researching the technical possibilities.

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