It doesn't appear so. I was actually just reading a bit of the Administrator manual on escalations (page 90) and it explicity states that "Custom
statuses cannot have the status type of Start"
Also, in the Designer manual on page 158, on creating new statuses it mentions that you "Type a title and description for the status, then alongside the Status Type property, select Completion, End or Other" - no mention of Start types.
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No, you can't create other start statuses. What most people do ifthey want the process to effectively begin at a status with a different name is to create a pre-condition that test for the status beign Open and then moves it on to the more meaningful name.