RALEIGH … The economic war is not over, but Georgia and North Carolina technology firms still have some fight left in them. The signs of retrenchment that were evident the week before continued last week.

There were a lot of new deals and contracts for companies like Unitive, Secure Enterprise Computing, Brogan & Partners, ideacode and BellSouth. Several pharmaceutical companies received good news about drug approvals. And 11 North Carolina and Georgia firms reported improved market capitalization on the year.

There was still some bad news to contend with: Atlanta’s biggest VC has been turning its attention from Georgia and North Carolina to Florida, BellSouth’s second-quarter earnings were down 67 percent, it remains a challenge for VCs to make deals since the market is not accommodating exit strategies and there are predictions the CFOs are reluctant to spend money in the current environment.

But last week’s headlines show an overwhelming trend toward preparation for recovery. Most firms aren’t there yet, but they are doing everything they can to prepare for an upswing.

Companies and individuals are networking, training, and prepping for the next phase of their business. Springboard hosted a “boot camp” for entrepreneurs, Georgia Forum addressed the equity gap, women-led companies were advised on tips for securing funding and an IT networking event was planned for a Durham Bulls game.

Companies were closing on substantial rounds of funding to help them ramp up. Zoom Culture received $2.5 million in third-round funding, Oculan won an additional $5 million from existing investors, HiddenMind received a $10 million infusion after its shift in ownership, Summus reported $10 million in debt financing from undisclosed investors, Proficient Systems closed on an additional $9 million and Biolex is closing in on a fourth round, close to $15 million. LTW also reported on the tenacity in the start-up arena, as new companies continue to seek funding and build their businesses despite the economy’s instability, in anticipation of an eventual market turnaround.

The executive shuffle continued, with more executive-level appointments being made at TrialCard, BTI, BioShield and ISS, with much talk of new directions and solid experience to move the companies forward.

The week signaled a return to optimism; companies are beginning to come out from behind barricades and begin the rebuilding process.

Here’s how it looked:

“There’s a good degree of pipeline constipation. The key to our business is putting new deals in at one end and pulling mature companies out at the other, and that just isn’t happening now.” … Frank Dalton of Atlanta-based Cordova Ventures

“Whether to invest is really of function of opportunities. I’m not really concerned with where the Nasdaq is right now because the companies we look at wouldn’t be ready for an exit for five to seven years, and the markets will be in a different cycle then.” … Brent Kulman of Charlotte Angel Partners

“For a disciplined investor, this is a great time to invest. You have to look at the long haul and believe that the market will come back over time. It’s like an omelet – you can wait till it’s done or eat it when it’s runny.” … Ed McCarthy of River Cities Capital Funds

“Out of this perfect storm will come some pretty good survivors.” … Dalton of Cordova Ventures

“Public sentiment is so hard to overcome, which makes it difficult to do business in the (information technology) sector these days.” … Mike Sibley, president and chief executive of Convey Systems

“Even if the economy improves, chief financial officers are not willing to spend money right now. So if no one is spending the only player left is the government. I think a couple of years will have to go by before the normal psychology of the market returns.” … Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center for Georgia State at the Robinson College of Business

July 26: IBM Expands Web Hosting Capabilities in Raleigh www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1464&k=26&l=16

July 25: At HiddenMind, the Goal is to Create a Seamless Universal Workplace — Without Wires www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1451&k=28&l=15

July 25: Just the Facts: A Look at HiddenMind www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1450&k=28&l=15

July 25: Corning Delays Planned Fiber Expansion in Concord /www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1454&k=25&l=15

July 21: Unitive Expands Chip Relationship With Taiwan Firm www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1406

BellSouth 2Q Earnings Decline 67% www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1419&k=22&l=12

July 23: Gentris Names Scientific Advisory Board, Seeking Up to $10M% www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1424&k=26&l=13

July 22: Misys Healthcare Systems Revenues Up 51% www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1417&k=22&l=12

July 22: What a Relief! Pozen Gets Positive Test Results for Migraine Drug www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1415&k=25&l=12

July 26: Biolex Nears Close of Big Fourth Round, Seeking More Than $15M www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1466&k=29&l=16

July 26: Zoom Culture Zips Up More Cash From Current Investors www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1467&k=26&l=16

July 23: Oculan Nails $5M Funding Round From Existing Investors www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1435

July 23: Summus Receives $10M Cash Infusion from Undisclosed Investors www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1423&k=26&l=13

July 22: HiddenMind Shifts Ownership While Getting $10M Investment www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1427&k=23&l=13

July 22: Wall Street Woes Produce ‘Pipeline Constipation’ for Venture Firms www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1413&k=22&l=12

July 22: Goodbye Atlanta and RTP; Hello Florida – That’s Growing Trend at Atlanta’s Biggest VC www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1412

July 23: Southern Capitol Ventures Ready To Deal in Life Science, Director Says www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1428&k=26&l=13

July 21: ISS Names New Head of Corporate Development www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1407

July 26: US Patent Office Proposes Excessive Fee Structure for Applications www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1465&k=29&l=16

July 25: The Stampede Against Stock Options: ‘For God’s Sake – Turn This Herd!’ www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1449&k=28&l=15

July 24: Talk About a Meltdown: North Carolina, Georgia Firms Lose Big Time www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1442&k=24&l=14

July 23: Startups Forge Ahead Despite Turbulent Markets, Focus on Internal Growth www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1429&k=26&l=13

July 25: Burned by the Market: BellSouth Leads Way But Has Plenty of Company www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1452&k=28&l=15

July 25: Beating the Street: 11 Tech Firms Actually Increase in Value Despite Stock Market Meltdown www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1453&k=28&l=15

July 25: Lights in the Darkness: LendingTree, 10 Georgia Firms Beat the Bears www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1455&k=25&l=15

July 24: Mirsad Hadzikadic Grows College of IT at UNC Charlotte www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1440&k=27&l=14

July 24: Designing the Perfect Pitch: 17 Women-Led Companies Get the VC Drill at ‘Boot Camp’ www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1441&k=27&l=14

July 22: Surprise: IT Firms Dominate Annual North Carolina Tech ‘Fast 50’ List www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1416&k=25&l=12

July 23: Brogan & Partners Wins $18M Federal Contract, Adds 18 to Staff www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1420&k=26&l=13

July 21: Springboard ‘Boot Camp’ for Entrepreneurs, Georgia Forum May Help Address the Equity Gap www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=1411