HBS Entrepreneursclose window

Paul Baier (PurchasingCenter.com and Excara), HBS 1994, has already launched several entrepreneurial ventures. His first, Compare.com, enabled customers to compare prices on everything from PCs to mortgages. He and his partner bootstrapped for ten months but were unable to get funding. So they closed their doors and Paul joined AOL and then Open Market, where he saw an opportunity to serve small and medium-sized industrial buyers via the Internet. In 1999 PurchasingCenter.com was born. Unfortunately, the technical and logistical challenges of building an online service proved overwhelming, so the company redirected toward selling software solutions developed for the online business. Excara.com was then launched in 2000 as a software company, offering e-commerce solutions to manufacturers. Paul also joined Charles River Ventures as the business development director. Paul described his journey as an entrepreneur in a video interview at his home in Wellesley, Mass. in June 2002.