and the most innovative entrepreneur is....

and the most innovative entrepreneur is.... - The Wall...

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The Wall Street Journal 11/14/11 And the Most Innovative Entrepreneur Is. .. The winner of The Wall Street Journal's small-business innovation competition thrived during the downturn by finding a new direction—and new markets By SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN, VANESSA O'CONNELL, EMILY MALTBY AND ANGUS LOTEN Imagine this. You're coming off the best year in your company's history, with record sales and seemingly smooth sailing ahead. Then the industry implodes. Your sales drop 70%, and your prospects seem even bleaker. What do you do? . If you're Quadlogic Controls Corp., of New York City, you think fast, get creative and rewrite your business plan. And you do it so well that you not only stay afloat but thrive in the teeth of the recession—taking on dozens of new workers and setting a record for revenue. Quadlogic's nimble reinvention put it at the top of The Wall Street Journal's Small Business, Big Innovation competition. In July, the Journal invited entrepreneurs to share the ideas they've used to survive the worst downturn in decades. Over the next three months, more than 100 entries poured in, ranging from a rubber-duck manufacturer in San Rafael, Calif., to a consignment retailer in Tampa, Fla., and a Chinese- language school in Riverside, Conn. Their strategies for overcoming the harsh economy were just as diverse —and could be a model and an inspiration for other companies that face similar struggles. Some expanded their offerings, adding goods or services to appeal to consumers with less disposable income. Others tapped new markets to cater to a larger demographic or an underserved niche. Some abandoned their original business model and pursued an entirely different venture.
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Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal The Journal's small-business staff narrowed the field to 10 finalists, and then a panel of editors—Vanessa O'Connell, Alan Murray and Dennis Berman—chose an overall winner. Readers also voted for their favorite. So, what exactly did Quadlogic do to earn the top spot? Let's go back to early 2009 for the answer. Times were good for the company, which made energy-tracking products that let different tenants in the same building manage and pay for their own usage. The two remaining founders—Doron Shafrir and Sayre Swarztrauber—had just put up the best revenue figures the 27-year-old company had ever seen. All of a sudden, though, the housing market was in shambles, driving sales into the ground. So Quadlogic decided to stake its future on a daring reinvention plan.
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Messrs. Shafrir and Swarztrauber had learned from a business associate a few years earlier that in developing countries, energy theft was a major problem. The entrepreneurs had even begun tinkering with a new product to prevent utility-metering systems from being breached. Only it was far from complete, and they hadn't yet identified any potential buyers. The partners decided that their best move would be to ramp up
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course CSR 480 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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and the most innovative entrepreneur is.... - The Wall...

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