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Finding Money for a Startup

Tom Harnish

You don't need a lot of money to start a company, sometimes none at all. 

The first company I started, while still in college, didn't require a dime of up-front money. I worked for a data processing training school as a teacher. They had a computer that was busy from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., but it sat idle the rest of the time. I proposed to pay the school a percentage of my income in exchange for use of their system. The deal was done when I pointed out that there would be negligible cost for them, and the machine wasn't helping their bottom line at all during the period I wanted to use it. They said "yes" and Business Computer Systems was born. We were profitable the first month with no debt on the books and no money out of my pocket.

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