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by Teresa Novellino

When Cheeseboy founder Michael Inwald pitched his idea to investors four years ago, they liked the idea but they had to be honest with the young man pitching it: they were not entirely sure a grilled-cheese fast food restaurant would work.

It was the summer of 2009, and Inwald was a self-described “frustrated entrepreneur” with no assets or capital, attending Yale School of Management to get his MBA, and—he hoped—the knowledge and connections he would need to start a business. He was also one of 10 students from across the entire university who were chosen for a summer incubator program at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, which is how he landed in front of investors with his idea.

“They said, ‘You’ve done a lot of market research, you’re knowledgeable, but how do we really know a grilled cheese restaurant chain is going to work?’” Inwald, now 32, recalled in a chat with Upstart Business Journal. “I said hold onto that question and I’ll get back to you.”

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