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Upside: Linux incubators overcome harsh environment

“In many ways, Randall Sprolles is like most mainstream Linux
investors. The father of a college computer science student,
Sprolles says he didn’t find out about the free software operating
system until he started reading magazines in an effort to catch up
with the latest high-tech trends.”

“It seemed like everywhere I looked I ran into information about
this operating system called Linux,” he says. “I started looking
for ways to make investments in it but found there weren’t
any.”

“Unlike most investors, however, Sprolles, owner of Financial
Research Associates, an Abbingdon, Va.-based mergers and
acquisition consulting firm, wasn’t used to getting shut out of a
prime investment opportunity. Rather than wait for a chance to
buy Red Hat (RHAT) or VA Linux (LNUX) on the inflated open market,
he began looking for other ground floor opportunities.

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