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Searching high and low for the next Bill Gates

By Joshua Kurlantzick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In today's lackluster economy, even corporate giants like GEare getting trashed by investors, consumers and the press. A badtime to launch a company? Hardly. Some of America's mostprominent entrepreneurs, from Bill Gates to Starbucks' HowardSchultz, got their start during weak economies, when they wereforced to build well-run companies without having wads of cashthrown at them.

We asked some of today's savviest investors and insiders whothey're betting on to be the next Gates or Schultz. Onecontender is serial entrepreneur Mark Galvin, 42, who co-foundedhis third company, Derry, New Hampshire-based Cedar PointCommunications, in 2000. Cedar Point now has 74 employees and, withits revolutionary voice equipment allowing cable operators toprovide telephone services, is being touted by investors as alegend in the making. According to Todd Dagres, a general partnerat leading VC firm Battery Ventures, Cedar Point's technologyhas a potential market of more than $2 billion.

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