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Rival Revival

Making money off university rivalries.

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This story appears in the December 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What: Sports merchandise tailored to more than 40 college team rivalries
Who: Jonah Ansell, Michael Raspatello and Scott Merz of Rivalfish Inc.
Where: Chicago
When: Started in 2003
How much: $20,000

You never know when inspiration will strike. For Jonah Ansell, 25, it happened while he was hung over on New Year's morning in 2003. His idea, loosely based on the age-old Jesus-Darwin fish car-emblem rivalry, was Rivalfish, a sports merchandise company that sells apparel and car emblems reflecting the wearer's loyalty within a college sports rivalry. Soon after he got the idea, Ansell recruited friends Michael Raspatello, 25, and Scott Merz, 25, to help build the business.

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