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For Subscribers

Why These 2 Similar Businesses Chose Different Approaches to Funding Each chose different routes to funding, but the end result was the same: success.

By Brittany Shoot

This story appears in the April 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Photos Courtesy of Rootsrated and TREW

RootsRated founder and CEO Fynn Glover, Chattanooga, Tenn.

i'm a trail runner, and I was frustrated by how hard it was to find local trails. If I could gather local tips, I wondered, was there a business there? So in 2011, I rounded up my younger brother and a roommate, and bankrolled 16,000 miles of travel to do some market research. Lessons learned: College kids like the outdoors but don't know where to go, and outdoor gear shop employees know everything -- from the trail to the post-trail beer.