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Vincent Pugliese

Vincent Pugliese didn’t plan on going down an entrepreneurial path.  He was a newspaper photographer for five years, and had moved up to where he was winning all sorts of awards and had become one of the top photographers in his field. A few months before his first child was born, Vincent  won Sports Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International contest. They flew him out to Washington D.C. for the award ceremony at National Geographic. It was huge. The next month, he went in for his annual review and received a 3% raise. “They told me that...

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Kate Elkind

Kate Elkind’s entrepreneurial journey started a long time ago when Internet wasn’t a common thing yet. It was the year of 2001 when after being fresh out of college and not being able to find a job within her major as a fashion designer that she started working as a sales person at a supermarket.  She was so bored over there that Kate decided to try something else on the side. Early on she knew that for your business to be successful, you have to find people’s pain points and satisfy them. “In Belarus, that is a country I’m from,...

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Debbie Reber

Debbie Reber moved to NYC after college graduation and spent years working in video and TV production, first for nonprofits like CARE and UNICEF, and then shifting into children’s television where she worked on the show Blue’s Clues at Nick Jr. While Debbie loved the work she was doing, she was always burning the midnight oil on her passion projects, which included working on social issue documentaries and writing. “I was always jealous of friends I knew whose job actually WAS their passion, and dreamed of a day when I felt the same way”. In 1999, Debbie took a...

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Surviving Europe

Erin and Erin Zipperle’s entrepreneurial escape from the 9 to 5 landed them in Salzburg, Austria where they founded Surviving Europe.  You may have actually seen them on House Hunter’s International.    Erin’s (husband) family is from Salzburg. He used to visit there growing up and had a dream of one day returning. Erin (wife) had studied abroad many times and also had a dream of living in another country. “After we got married, we decided it was time to take a risk and move abroad. We wanted to get out there and see the world, live in another...

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Hug Wraps

Brenda Jones isn’t really an entrepreneur, she’s just on a mission.  In 2008 Brenda was diagnosed with breast cancer and that’s when Hug Wraps was born.  Anyone who has been through the process knows that hospital gowns generally don’t enhance the experience.  They are institutional looking and often leave  you with an unpleasant breeze on your back side, depending on your gown design.  Brenda decided to take matters into her how hands – literally.  She found a sewing machine (and a friend to show her how to use it) and a kimono style that was conducive to cancer treatments...

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