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Absolut Investment

With grant money from the vodka-maker, a dream is now half fulfilled.

This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Crashing in an airplane is a national nightmare. Findingexpansion capital is an entrepreneur's dream come true. Yetboth intertwine in the theatrical production Charlie VictorRomeo. On-stage, actors perform scenes culled from transcriptsof airplanes' black boxes, while off-stage, a $50,000 grantfrom Absolut Vodka is allowing the theater company to expand into acompany that produces educational videos.

Bob Berger, 34, and Justin Davila, 29, are the entrepreneurialcreators of New York City-based Charlie Victor Romeo, whichproduced the play. When the show ran off-Broadway throughout 1999and 2000, audiences were moved by it-including aviationprofessionals, who wanted to use the play as a training tool fortheir flight crews. So Berger, with a master's degree ininteractive telecommunications, and Davila, who's completinghis master's in artificial intelligence, developed a trainingvideo in conjunction with the Air Force. (While watching the"pilots," the user can also see what the airline controlsare doing.)

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