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Molded in Your Image

A crude prototype won't show you off in the best light. You need a cheap way to build a better one.

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

While inventors would be happy if they could secure orders withjust a rough drawing, they soon discover angel and institutionalinvestors, potential licensors, distributors, retailers andmanufacturers would like to see a "looks like, workslike" prototype before they consider investing time or moneyin an idea. That's bad news, because those prototypes are a bigexpense for inventors, requiring that they shell out anywhere from$2,000 to $100,000 to get one made. Fortunately, you may be able toget your prototypes made for a lot less money using the helpthat's available in your own hometown.

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