Wednesday, May 23, 2012

North Carolina Companies to Watch – Where Are They Now?

The North Carolina Companies to Watch Awards recognize second-stage companies that demonstrate success in their market. What exactly makes these companies “worth watching?” We spoke with a few companies that received this prestigious award in the past two cycles to find out just where they are now, and what exactly made them a company to watch.

Innovative Products

DryCorp, based in Wilmington, NC, is creating and manufacturing a few incredibly innovative products, which, as the name suggests, are designed to keep things dry. Founded in 1998, DryCorp originally produced DryPro, a line of waterproof products that protected casts, PICCs and prosthetics from being damaged by water while swimming in the pool or ocean, hanging on the beach, or in a bath or shower.

            And then they created DryCase, a line of products that use vacuum seal technology to ensure that electronic devices stay dry in casual and extreme circumstances. Ever been to the beach with your smartphone, tablet, or e-reader? How did you protect it? Or were you too afraid to use it? Well, people need no longer fear sand or water ruining their devices. DryCase uses innovative technology to ensure the devices you use stay clean and dry.

Due to their innovative product line and continued growth through an expanding merchant network, DryCase was selected as an award recipient for the 2011 North Carolina Companies to Watch, presented in September. In the short time since, DryCorp has expanded their workforce, and completed an intense trade-show circuit. Experiencing their second-straight year of ~300% revenue growth, DryCorp is in a great position to continue their expansion. Later this month, expect two incredible new products, DryBuds and the DryCase Waterproof Backpack. DryBuds, a set of headphones that are 100% waterproof, meaning that you can go surf at Kure Beach whilst rocking out to your favorite surf rock jams. The DryCase Backpack is more ideal for the kayak or canoe trip you’ve been meaning to take, protecting all of your gear from the elements. Now that’s some innovative technology!

High Performance

Recognized as a North Carolina Company to Watch in 2010 for high performance in the marketplace, the aptly names file-sharing company ShareFile has seen tremendous growth and expansion. Started in 2003 by Jesse Lipson, the company grew to 30 employees by the time of the company’s nomination in 2010.

            ShareFile allows businesses to create a custom-branded and password-protected internet portal to exchange business files with teammates, clients, and collaborators easily and securely. Boasting an initial client list of prominent brands and Fortune 500 companies, ShareFile was a great nominee and award recipient for 2010.

            In October 2011, ShareFile was acquired by Citrix Systems for an undisclosed amount. The ShareFile offices are still based in Raleigh, NC, and the team is now more than 150 employees. In addition to their exit event, ShareFile was recognized on the 500 list as the 241st fastest growing company in the nation. ShareFile is now used by 99% of Fortune 500 companies as a data-storage, collaboration or file-transfer tool. Now that’s an impressive performance!

Rapid Growth

DataChambers, based in Winston-Salem, NC, is a full-service IT and managed services company that specializes in data storage. Named a 2010 North Carolina Companies to Watch recipient due to their successful expansion and economic impact in Winston-Salem, the company has continued to grow under the careful leadership of Nicolas Kottyan, CEO.

            In addition to receiving numerous awards for fast growth and employee performance, DataChambers attracted attention from many of its large corporate clients, eventually agreeing to an acquisition by North State Communications, one of the top 15 largest communications companies for an undisclosed amount. DataChambers retains their office space in Winston-Salem, and recently doubled the size of their office, taking over the second floor of their office park office building. Kottyan still serves as CEO, and plans to continue to grow the business, as evidenced by their office expansion.

The 2012 Recipients – Where Will They Go?

This year, we honor 25 additional North Carolina companies with the 2012 North CarolinaCompanies to Watch award, to be presented at an Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 7, 2012 in front of esteemed members of the entrepreneurial community of the Triangle and the state. We invite you to join us to meet the winners and make predictions about what the future will bring for these highly-successful and innovative companies.

What are your predictions for where these companies will be in one year? In two years? Leave us a comment or tell us in person on June 7th

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