What an open mind can get you Featured

10:03am EDT July 22, 2002

Ken Doerbecker booked himself into a trade show a few months back hoping to sell his computer consulting services to the exhibitors. He walked out with a new business.

The show, which gives inventors an opportunity to showcase their ideas to contract manufacturers, marketers and, most importantly, to potential financial backers, had turned up zilch in new clients for Doerbecker.

Many of the exhibitors, apparently, were having the same luck as Doerbecker. Some of them, seeking to cast a wider net, asked him what it would take to set up a Web page to help them contact resources for financing, manufacturing and others to develop their ideas.

"Then I realized 'my customers are here,'" says Doerbecker.

That evening, Doerbecker went home and worked up a proposal for a Web site. The next day, he dropped off fliers describing it and signed up six clients-for a service that didn't exist yet. He's in the process of launching the yet-unnamed site.