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The Little Black Box

A stash of fresh ideas always comes in handy for a resourceful entrepreneur.

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

When Dwayne Clark was a corporate executive, he stuffed a "Black Box" file with ideas that got nixed by higher-ups. In 1996, Clark took the ideas with him when he co-founded Áegis Living, a Redmond, Washington, company with over 35 senior residential communities, $96 million in sales and a reputation for innovation in a warm, fun atmosphere.

Senior residences built by the 46-year-old CEO and his co-founder, Bill Gallaher, 54, sport innovations ranging from lobbies decorated with antique cars and video games for younger visitors to Áegis Gardens in Fremont, California, a community with Asian-themed décor, landscaping and cuisine.

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