Sunday, April 14, 2024

Look back: Bit players

North Carolina’s tech industry has shown resilience since Business North Carolina published a list of the state’s 30 top tech companies in March 2001. It was based on research by the KPMG LLP accounting firm with rankings determined by revenue and employment growth, market value and capital raised over three years. To be sure, only half of the companies are still independent and a few were liquidated. But 15 remain independent and bulwarks of the state’s economy. The state’s tech sector has continued to grow, making North Carolina a major operating site for large companies based elsewhere, including Cisco Systems Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd. and Time Warner Cable Inc. Since 2001, the state has also become a magnet for data centers for tech giants including Apple, Facebook and Google. The hope for the next 15 years is that newer, homegrown companies, including AvidXchange Inc. of Charlotte, Inmar Inc. of Winston-Salem and nCino Inc. of Wilmington, can burnish North Carolina’s reputation as a hotbed for innovation.


  • AAIPharma Services Corp. Wilmington
  • Cicero Inc. Cary 
  • CommScope Inc. Hickory 
  • Cree Inc. Durham
  • Farragut Systems Inc. Durham
  • Fairpoint Communications Inc. Charlotte
  • Lending Tree LLC Charlotte
  • PPD Inc. Wilmington
  • Quintiles Transnational Corp. Durham
  • Qorvo Inc. Greensboro 
  • Red Hat Inc. Raleigh 
  • Red Storm Entertainment Inc. Morrisville
  • RTI International RTP
  • SAS Institute Inc. Cary
  • SciQuest Inc. Morrisville


  • BuildNet Inc. Durham, Liquidated in 2001
  • Pliant Systems Inc. Durham, Liquidated in 2001
  • Sigcom Inc. Greensboro, Closed in 2008



  • BTI Telecom Inc. Raleigh, Merged with ITC DeltaCom Inc. in 2003. Later acquired by EarthLink in 2010.
  • ClinTrials Research Inc., Cary Acquired by Inveresk Research Group Ltd. in 2001.
  • CT Communications Inc., Concord Sold in 2007 to Windstream Corp.
  • Embrex Inc. Durham, Acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2007
  • Glenayre Technologies Charlotte, Moved to Atlanta in 2001. Changed name in 2007.
  • HAHT Commerce Inc. Raleigh, Acquired by GXS Inc. in 2004.
  • HealthLink Inc. Charlotte, Acquired by IBM in 2005.
  • OnSphere Corp. Raleigh, Merged with TAKE Solutions Inc. in 2007.
  • Relativity Technologies Inc., Cary,  Sold to Micro Focus International PLC in 2008.
  • SpectraSite Holdings Cary, Merged into American Tower Corp. in 2005
  • TriPath Imaging Inc. Burlington, Acquired by Becton, Dickinson & Co. in 2006.
  • US LEC Corp. Charlotte, Sold in 2007. Now owned by Windstream Corp.


David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at

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