Doug Baldasare faced the dilemma of every new entrepreneur: How do you get in front of buyers when you don’t have sales to show? His company, Philadelphia-based ChargeItSpot, makes a phone-charging station for retailers, so customers can fuel up while shopping (and therefore stick around longer). Baldasare asked a professor from his days at Wharton for an introduction to a manager the guy knew at a local Whole Foods.

Then Baldasare showed up with an action plan...

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