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After seven years trying to make it as an entrepreneur, Josh Malone's dreams and savings were running dry. With a growing family, urgency was mounting for his return to the safety and stability of corporate life. Desperate for a final crack, he asked his wife for patience and built one last prototype – a patented device that could quickly fill and tie multiple water balloons at once, which he called "Bunch O Balloons" – and started a Kickstarter campaign.

Malone raised nearly $1 million from 21,000 backers, and was invited on the national TV circuit, including a feature on the "Today Show."

"That's when it blew up," he recalled.

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