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Been There, Done That Growing an entrepreneurial empire? Turn to the big names in business if you need help.

By Joshua Kurlantzick

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Obtaining funding in today's economy remains difficult, buta small group of companies has hit a jackpot: They've linked upwith VC funds founded by mega-entrepreneurs like Ben Cohen of Ben& Jerry's fame--men and women who can provide youngbusinesses with a double dose of capital and managementexpertise.

Cohen is hardly the only entrepreneurial superstar to start avanity venture fund. Howard Schultz, founder of Starbucks, is amajor investor in Maveron, a fund focusing on retail companies thatshow breakout potential. And Frank Biondi, the chief executive whohelped turn Home Box Office into an international powerhouse, hasco-founded Waterview Partners, a fund focused on media andcommunications companies.

Many of these entrepreneurs are looking for businesses that havethe same qualities that made their own companies successful."We search for entrepreneurs who already have a segment oftheir market staked out and are interacting closely with corecustomers," says Chuck Lacy, president of Cohen's TheBarred Rock Fund.

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