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When the Well Runs Dry This Texas entrepreneur dug deep to replace VC funds he lost unexpectedly.

By David Worrell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What's an entrepreneur to do when investors back out in themiddle of an $80 million-plus construction project? Jack Gray, 48,knows the answer from firsthand experience. Gray's Austin,Texas, company, Gigared, was building a 1,100-kilometer-longtelecommunications network in Argentina when his American VCinvestors abruptly backed out in September 2001--still $6 millionshy of completing their investment.

Gray scrambled to renegotiate terms with vendors and debtors,invested more of his own money, and looked for new VC investors. Byoffering a greatly reduced stock price, Gray received enough in newinvestments to complete the build-out. With 2005 revenue expectedto top $5 million, Gigared is once again in the black.

Says Gray, "When you get burned that badly, you want tohave someone you know you can trust. That's a huge component ofpicking a VC partner."

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