Startup Flops Leave Little Trace Beyond For-Sale Sign

Execs, pursuing new capital, quick to wipe failures off resumes
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Apr 28, 2008 2:11 PM CDT
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gestures while speaking during a media conference , Thursday April 24, 2008.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A failed start-up doesn't spell purgatory for entrepreneurs with the right connections, the Boston Globe reports. Take Mort Rosenthal, who struck gold in the 1980s as a software entrepreneur, only to launch two flops—one in alternative medicine, the other in cell-phone retail—with millions in lost venture capital. Now he's back in the game with a business backed by $20 million Microsoft dollars.

Rosenthal's IMO was dubbed "the Starbucks of cell phones" in one industry magazine, but despite having the founder of Staples on the board and $10 million in funding, the company went bankrupt after 4 years. One venture-capital firm quickly erased IMO from its website, and is on the block, perhaps, its owner suggests, perfect for the funeral industry as "In Memory Of."