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John Bello, aka the “Lizard King,” has been lionized in the business press as having been the brilliant entrepreneur who started a beverage company from scratch in early 1995 with his partner, Tom Schwalm, and then sold the product line to PepsiCo seven years later for a reported $375 million. What many people do not know is how close Bello came to failing with his SoBe line of innovative drinks.



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