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Spicing Up the Spirits Industry

After graduating from Columbia University, brothers Courtney and Carter Reum took jobs at Goldman Sachs. But in 2007, right before the financial crisis upended Wall Street, they'd had enough. The money was good—but they craved something more exciting. "I always wanted to be an entrepreneur," says Courtney. He adds, "It just kind of struck me that the main categories of spirits out there—vodka, gin, rum—have been around for centuries. There's been very little innovation in the true sense of the word." So the brothers quit their jobs to launch VeeV, a spirit containing the antioxidant-rich açaí berry. Since launching four years ago, VeeV will generate about $5 million in revenue in 2011 and employs about 35 people.