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Custom-Made Convenience

This entrepreneur's painting the town--and doing it comfortably.

This story appears in the March 2008 issue of Start Up.

What: Paint pail with a custom-fit handle
Who: Mark Bergman of Bercom International LLC
Where: Chanhassen, Minnesota
When: Started in 2002
Startup costs: Approximately $300,000

No stranger to entrepreneurial ventures, Mark Bergman had been dabbling in inventions since 1986, from baby spoons to children's shoelaces. But it wasn't until 2000 that he came upon the idea he'd been waiting for.

While painting around his house and using an empty coffee can to hold paint, Bergman decided to make a strap out of duct tape to help hold the can after his hand got tired. He used it for a week, realized the potential of a strapped-on paint holder and presented it to his patent attorney.

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