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Turning the Biggest Supporter into Your Best Customer For the founders of IdeaPaint, Babson College was incubator, investment source, tester and--finally--customer.

By Joel Holland

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Waaaay Outside the Lines

What if your school wasn't just the place where you conceived brilliant business ideas but was also your funding source, chief product-tester and first customer?

That was the scenario for the creators of IdeaPaint, a paint that turns any surface into a dry-erase board. While students at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., Jeff Avallon and his partners John Goscha and Morgen Newman turned to the school for investors and then help with product research. In the end, Babson also became a customer. Now IdeaPaint is a worldwide brand.

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