In Sweden, scientist Lennart Alfredeen developed a heating process that Volvo and Saab have used to make metal parts more quickly and cheaply. But it wasn't until he visited the United States that he was offered financing to start a company. Now Magnatech is up and running in Bettendorf, Iowa -- courtesy of state and local government loans and an alliance with another manufacturer -- selling the Speed Heater to customers both here and in Europe.

-- Leslie Brokaw