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A 'Big D' start-up was tough; expanding may be easier

Walter Wilhelm knows what it's like to start a new business in Dallas, because he helped start one. He's marketing director of Microdynamics Inc., which makes micro-processor controls for industrial sewing machines. They allow workers to program their machines to do certain stitch sequences. The company also sells computer systems for footwear design.

''It isn't real easy getting venture-capital money,'' Mr. Wilhelm says. The five-year-old company didn't even look in Dallas for its first funding. ''At that time, the Dallas venture-capital community wasn't as well developed as it is today.'' Instead, Microdynamics relied on connections with a New York firm, InnoVen Capital Corporation. The company is again looking for financing, but Wilhelm says that since it has ''survived'' this long, and is growing fast, the prospects are good. For this round, he says, the ''largest group of investors is going to be from Dallas or the Midwest.''

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